Constructors’ championship 2010: 10th
Lotus was the best of the new teams last season by some distance. New for 2011 are Renault engines along with gearboxes and hydraulics from Red Bull Racing.
While the naming row with Group Lotus (now sponsoring the Renault team) rumbles on off-track, technical director Mike Gascoyne and team principal Tony Fernandes will be looking to battle in the midfield on it.
The Lotus reserve driver is Karun Chandhok of India.
20 Jarno Trulli (age 36, Italian, 238 Grand Prix starts)
Trulli has been around almost as long as Melbourne has been an F1 destination – the Italian’s first race here was in 1997, and only Rubens Barrichello has competed in more races at Albert Park than Trulli’s 14.
On the front row here in 2005, he finished a remarkable third in 2009 after starting from the pit lane. He failed to finish eight times in his debut year with Lotus.
2010 season: no points, 21st – best result 13th in Japan.
21 Heikki Kovalainen (age 29, Finnish, 71 Grand Prix starts)
The Finn had stints with Renault and McLaren before heading to the other end of the pit lane last year. Kovalainen was generally the quicker Lotus driver in 2010, and the first of Trulli’s teammates ever to out-qualify the Italian at Monaco – a feat acknowledged with a bottle of wine from Jarno’s own vineyard. Kovalainen was third on the grid at Albert Park and finished fifth in 2008, while he came 13th here last season.
2010 season: no points, 20th – best result 12th in Japan.
Lotus T128, powered by Renault engines