Lotus News Article

"I think everyone is looking to next year...."

Monday, November 14, 2011 - 03:45
Group Lotus ambassador Jean Alesi looks back at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix...

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2011 R30As Marina Circuit used to be a cure for insomnia until the double DRS zone was created this year. It made a real difference on Sunday, didn't it?

Sure there was more overtaking, but I think there's room for improvement on the locations of the two zones. One car would overtake, take the corner, and then immediately get re-passed in the second DRS zone, and for me that felt rather artificial. Had they just had the one zone I think it would have worked better. That said, I'm sure the spectators and the viewers at home enjoyed it and that's the most important thing. I enjoyed watching Fernando Alonso because he was pushing all the time to catch Lewis Hamilton, but when Sebastian Vettel went out after just 200 metres the race, for me, was a little bit damaged.

No points for Lotus Renault GP today. Both drivers looked to struggle in qualifying and the race. Is all attention now on next year's car?

I think everyone is looking to next year. These last couple of grands prix, because the championship is settled, are basically test sessions with trophies at the end. Because the teams are so restricted on testing they're already trying out their new parts for 2012, and LRGP are no exception. However, it's clear the team are struggling with their new exhaust system. It seems to be penalizing them a lot on slow speed and twisty tracks, like Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

It would be great to see Bruno Senna get points at home in Brazil in a fortnight. How do you think he's been developing in these past seven races he's driven for the team?

The speed of the car at the moment is not great, this is clear, but there are some high-speed sectors at Interlagos, where the R31 will be more at ease. Bruno is racing with a top team for the first time, so there's lots to learn on his side too. He managed to impress straight away on his LRGP debut in Spa and everyone was surprised how quickly he adapted. Now I think we can see that the car's set-up is not following exactly what engineers forecast, and that's not easy for the driver. Because of his nationality and surname Bruno will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders at Interlagos, but I'm sure he's going to be okay. He's a pretty cool customer.