by Rupert Suren
The newest addition to our motoring section is Motoring Torque where we'll be bringing you interviews with key players in the world of cars. And the cars in question...anything from the innovative and practical Smart car to the family country 4x4 favoured by numerous rugby players, right through to Formula 1 machines.
On our first outing, our not-so-tame former racing driver took a trip up to Team Lotus in a very cool Caterham 7 Roadster [owned by the group], and had a chat with Tom Webb of Formula 1 contenders, Team Lotus.
Here's a taster of the interview for you, but figuring reading a transcript is not half as much as listening to the real thing, so just hit the link at the end and have a listen...
"Jarno Trulli has been quite affected by the old power steering until Hungary, and then he seemed transformed. Now the new power steering is there he seems like a changed man."
"Yes, I think it’s worth just clarifying; we’ve had power steering on the car all season, it’s the actual type of power steering and it’s the feel that it gives the drivers. The truth is that if any of us are driving our car down the motorway in the fast lane and you hit a patch of water you feel the car aquaplane; we’ve all had that moment where you get that horrible feeling.
Yeah, and you feel the car move. Now if you think that you multiply that feeling by a thousand that’s kind of what it’s like being a Formula One driver. So when a driver gets out of the car, like Jarno, and says “I can’t feel the car” it’s very difficult for us to be able to translate this to the fans. Jarno has had a power steering system this season that he honestly says “I cannot feel what the car is doing”. So if his lap times are relatively consistent compared to his team mate and we make changes and it doesn’t really change his lap time then actually what it looks like is the guy is just complaining, but the truth is what he has said is that I’m not able to do my job properly because I didn’t have a system that I was fully comfortable with.
We changed the power steering in Hungary and he was given a system that he said is like night and day. It is like being able to pick up something wearing very thick gloves and picking up something with bare hands. You can’t feel it or you can feel it and suddenly he was half a second quicker than his team mate and until the qualifying session he was comfortably outpacing Kovalainen. He really was a transformed man and I know he’s itching to get back in the car and see whether any of the little fine tuning that we’ve been doing since we’ve been back from the summer break has improved it even further for him and gives him a car that he feels comfortable with so that he can really start pushing again..."
CLICK HERE TO TUNE INTO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW:
Here's the review of the Caterham 7 Roadster 175 owned by Team Lotus:
For you chance to win a signed cap from Team Lotus, pop over here: