In news that might please its lead drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, Team Lotus has confirmed that both drivers will be in the cockpit of their respective T128 challengers for the entire Turkish Grand Prix weekend.
For all previous rounds this year, either one of the drivers has had to relinquish their seat in the opening practice session for one of the team’s assortment of reserve drivers, with Karun Chandhok (Australia), Davide Valsecchi (Malaysia) and Luiz Razia (China) all taking turns behind the wheel, some with the financial assistance of their personal sponsors.
And it would seem that – rather than the spate of upgrades being introduced to the T128 for this weekend – a sponsorship issue has held up the opportunity for the team’s fourth test driver, Angolan Ricardo Teixeira, to have a drive this weekend.
“He will not be seen in Turkey as negotiations with his sponsor [state-owned oil company Sonangol] are still ongoing,” a statement from the team reads.
And team boss Tony Fernandes believes that it will be next round in Spain – as opposed to this round in Istanbul – that will deliver the team its “next step” in competitiveness.
“I am not expecting us to have found another chunk of time here as we have been focusing on the Barcelona race for the update package,” he adds.
[Image via Sutton Images]
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