Leaving the pits on cold hard tires, the Indian did not have enough time to warm them up and lost control of his car, eventually crashing the challenger into the tire barriers at the exit of Turn 3. Fortunately for Team Lotus, the car was repaired in time to allow Jarno Trulli to make his official outing in FP2.
“I'm obviously disappointed to have had such a short run for my first time in the Team Lotus car,” Chandhok told the journalists in Melbourne after his crash, “but I put my hands up to it and totally accept it was a combination of a slippery track and less grip than I expected from the tires that combined to put me out so early.”
“I'm just pleased the guys could get Jarno out in the afternoon session and it shows what a great team this is that they could get the car fixed that quickly to ensure Jarno could get a decent number of laps under his belt in FP2,” he added, happy at least that his shunt did not hamper the team's entire practice schedule on Friday.
During the second free practice, Trulli was more than 5 seconds off the pace of McLaren's Jenson Button, and slower even than his teammate Heikki Kovalainen. However, technical chief Mike Gascoyne insisted that the Lotus T128's true pace will be seen tomorrow, as the Friday action was affected by some fuel pressure and electronics issues with both cars.
“For tomorrow there is a lot more to come from the car. We are clearly not quite where we expected to be in performance terms but we understand the reasons for that,” said Gascoyne. “(...) I am confident we will move up to where we expect to be in qualifying tomorrow,” he added.