Lotus: Times don’t represent where we expect to be after qualifying

Jun.22 (Lotus Press Release) Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean took to the track today for the first practice sessions at the Valencia Street Circuit ahead of Sunday’s European Grand Prix. The day’s programme began with windy and cloudy conditions in the morning which improved in the afternoon.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes:

  • Today we evaluated a new front wing on Romain’s car and an updated floor, new rear suspension configuration and revised steering set-up with Kimi.
  • Both cars ran Pirelli’s medium compound tyres in the morning and the medium and soft compound in the afternoon.

What we learned today:

  • Our base setup appears to work strongly in Valencia.
  • Long-run, heavy-fuel pace in particular was good.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05:
Free practice 1: P10, 1:41.620, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:39.945, 34 laps
“The car feels okay and there were no issues. The wind was a bit of a factor in the morning but it was better in the afternoon. I was stuck in traffic for quite a bit of my long run in the second session, so I wasn’t able to go as fast as the car was capable of, but we don’t have any issues on that front. The E20’s strong point always seems to be its race pace but of course we are looking to make it quicker in qualifying. Let’s see how it is tomorrow morning and we’ll do whatever’s necessary. We’ll make a few changes to the car for sure, but I think we’re pretty okay.”

Romain Grosjean, E20-04:
Free practice 1: P11, 1:41.784, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:39.868, 33 laps
“Today was not as hot as we expected, certainly after the weather we saw here yesterday, but the long run pace was there and the car felt good. We still have a few things to try with the setup, so there should be some more pace to come. Qualifying will be the big moment for us as we have seen that we need to find a little bit of improvement there. It’s not the end of the world, as we have seen that we can make good gains on Sunday with our race pace. The trick will be to find more speed in qualifying without disturbing this.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“It’s been a straight-forward and issue-free Friday for us. We conducted aero evaluation of a new front wing and new floor and we will be considering the data this evening. In the afternoon we concentrated on race pace and tyre management so our finishing positions, as usual, don’t necessarily represent where we expect to be after qualifying tomorrow. Overall, we’re very happy with the way the E20 is performing here. There is some scope for improvement to get both Kimi and Romain 100% happy with their cars, which we will work on tomorrow morning. In terms of long run pace we think we are looking competitive.”