Interlagos Day 1: Team Lotus report

Luiz Razia (BRA) Team Lotus T128 Reserve Driver.

Luiz Razia

Nov.25 (Team Lotus) Drivers and team review the first practice day of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, 19th and final round of the Formula 1 world championship, at Circuito Jose Carlos Pace (Interlagos) in Sao Paulo.

Luiz Razia, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “I’m really pleased with how my session went today. It was a very proud moment for me to be back on track in Interlagos, this time in an F1 car, a real dream come true, so I want to thank the whole team for the chance to drive here today. I’d had a good run in the car last week in Abu Dhabi so I felt comfortable pretty quickly, and I think my laptimes showed that. We worked through a busy programme, including comparisons with the new rear wing the team’s brought here against the previous spec we used in Abu Dhabi – I could feel immediately what a good step forward that is and I’m pleased I could play my part today in helping the team keep progressing, right up to the last race here in my home country.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I had a good day today. The new rear wing is another step forward and it’s encouraging to see that sort of update coming right at the end of the season. I got through a very good number of laps today and every change we made helped us find a bit more time on both tyre compounds, so with a bit more hard work tonight I think tomorrow and Sunday could be pretty good for us.”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “I’m pretty pleased with my run this afternoon. We need to do a bit of work on fine tuning the balance, and I think there’s more to come from the new rear wing, but the update is working and hopefully we can show in qualifying the sort of pace we’ve had recently in the races – that’s the aim for tomorrow, and then to carry that over to Sunday.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “From the engine perspective I think we can be pleased with how today has gone. We have completed very decent mileage on both cars and have amassed enough data to help us progress more tomorrow around what is a pretty unique track. We have to find the right balance between strong driveability and top end power and give the drivers good responsiveness to maximise the lap times around Interlagos, and from where we finished today it looks like we are heading in the right direction.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “An excellent Friday for the team. In the first session we ran Luiz Razia and he did a really good job, completing his whole programme and apart from one small mistake on his quickest lap, which probably cost him half a second at the last corner, he can be very satisfied with his day’s work. With the two race drivers we were evaluating a new rear wing which maximises the effect of the DRS system. That worked exactly as we had predicted and gave us a significant improvement in lap time which has helped us move another step closer to the cars immediately ahead so I think we can look forward to a good final weekend of 2011.”

Riad Asmat, Group CEO: “That was a good last Friday of the season for us. This time last year we were racing a car that we had stopped development on in the middle of the season, and this year we have come to the last race with a new rear wing that has immediately paid dividends. That is a good sign of the continuing progression of our team and it bodes well for next year that the investments we have made in critical areas are giving us good returns right up to the end of the season. We have had a strong latter part of 2011 and I think we can push even more over this weekend, so we will aim to keep up this momentum tomorrow and see what we can do in qualifying.”