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Australian GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
25/03/2010

Bruno, how tough was Bahrain?
Bruno Senna: It was a pretty big challenge. The team arrived there with no previous preparation and everything had to be done there and we struggled a little bit. We couldn't learn from previous experience, so we had to do everything on the few laps we had and it didn't make our lives easy but the team still did a pretty amazing job to be there and get both cars on the grid.

What has been happening since then to the team?
BS: Obviously there is a big check list of things that need to be changed. With no testing and no time to test between the first two races there are no big changes, a few changes but not enough. But we hope that by Europe we can have some updates, some new things on the car, which will improve performance and reliability.

It is a massive learning curve for you and the team. Lotus at least have experienced drivers.
BS: I think both for the new teams and the new drivers it is very important to get some miles of testing. It would be great for us if we could test a little bit when we get to Europe after the first races as we could take many of the kinks, the very basic things that we could have been able to sort out with a few miles of testing, get them sorted out, and I believe that it would make everyone's live much better, both the new teams and the current teams considering that these guys have to overtake us a few more times than necessary if we were a bit quicker and more prepared.

Vitaly, any surprises for you about Formula One in your first grand prix in Bahrain?
Vitaly Petrov: Surprise in Bahrain? Not really. I don't know. It was like a racing weekend like it was in GP2. It was just Formula One.

What did you find particularly difficult about Formula One though?
VP: Difficult means getting quicker like the guys in front of us. It is very difficult to improve the car as you need to tell your engineer, your mechanics, the people around where we can improve the car and this is the most difficult part when I start to work with them. It is not difficult, but to improve the car you must go to the engine guys and say 'come on, I need more power' or something like this.

How has the reaction been in Russia to you racing in Formula One?
VP: There was a big explosion there. A lot of newspapers and magazines started to speak and write about me. I don't know what's happened there now but now my manager has brought me some magazines to look at and a lot speak about me.

Will you be going to Russia quite soon?
VP: I don't think so. Too much work. I try to focus on F1. I don't want to think about anything more.

Jarno, your feelings after Bahrain? It was an impressive performance.
Jarno Trulli: Well, we were all very happy as a team to have Lotus back in Formula One after 16 years and to finish the race with both cars. This is what our target was and we achieved it. Not in an easy way as for the new teams life is very hard at the beginning. We were limited in time and the team has done a great, great job to put both cars on the grid well prepared and reliable. I think the team had done a very good job. Operationally we are extremely experienced as there are a lot of experienced people who are also professional. The pit stops, race preparation, race weekend, all went pretty smoothly. We had some little mechanical gremlins but nothing really major. The last 10 laps were difficult for me as I lost the hydraulic but I managed anyway to finish the race. At the end of the day Bahrain was a great day for Lotus. Now we have to look forward and see how we can improve our performance.

Do you think you can get on terms with the established teams during this year?
JT: The aim is to get closer. How close we don't know. At the moment it is a bit too difficult. We know that these first four races will be very hard. We don't have any major improvement on the car. Only once we are back in Europe we will probably start pushing. We know that we have a lot of work ahead of us but the team has shown they are very committed. Everybody is committed and motivated and serious about this project. But things are not going to happen from one day to another as we need a bit of time.

Not much progress here except for some more running.
JT: We have got a few bits, probably as everybody else, but nothing really major and what we would need to make a step. We target the first four races to try and sort the little problems out and try to be reliable in order to finish all the races and to run the team through the race weekend like qualifying, pit stop, and do our job to build up and gel the team together. Then once in Europe we will really have to start pushing hard on the car development.

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