Lotus: We suffered a disrupted day

Oct.5 (Lotus) Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean conducted setup evaluation runs and upgrade evaluations during the first day of running at the fabulous Suzuka circuit today. Under glorious skies both cars ran reliably in the morning, however Kimi suffered a coolant-leak induced KERS issue in the afternoon meaning he missed most of the session.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes:

  • We ran updated front wings on both cars today.
  • In the morning we ran the DDRS Device on Kimi’s car and an updated rear wing on Romain’s. In the afternoon, both cars used non DDRS rear wings.
  • The Singapore-spec floor was evaluated on both cars.
  • Pirelli’s hard compound tyre was used in the morning, the hard and soft in the afternoon.

What we learned today:

  • We were not able to get ‘The Device’ functioning at a sufficient level for it to be used over the rest of the weekend.
  • We made good progress dialling in the new floor as well as both the front and rear wings, which will all remain on the car for the rest of the weekend.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05:
Free practice 1 : P13, 1:35.691, 22 laps
Free practice 2 : P14, 1:34.291, 12 laps“We didn’t get much running because of the issue with the KERS, but at least it happened today and we got it fixed. It wasn’t ideal for helping us find the best setup but there’s nothing you can do about these things. Suzuka is not the easiest place to get the car set up, but we still have tomorrow’s practice before qualifying. I think we have the potential to be nearer the front than we have done in the last couple of races.”

Romain Grosjean, E20-03:
Free practice 1 : P14, 1:35.724, 21 laps
Free practice 2 : P6, 1:33.107, 35 laps“Not a bad day overall. The car felt much better in the afternoon than it did this morning ; we’re still not quite where we want to be but the team has been working hard and hopefully we’ll make a similar step forward tomorrow. Suzuka is not an easy track on the car ; the demands on the tyres are really high but the car felt consistent with both compounds which is a big positive. It’s hard to say if P6 is the kind of position we’ll be in qualifying ; there are definitely still a few tenths we can find so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

James Allison, Technical Director:
“We suffered a disrupted day with Kimi’s car but despite that we’ve achieved a reasonable amount. We evaluated ‘The Device’ in the morning but were unable to make it switch effectively so we won’t be using it for the rest of the weekend. Romain suffered from understeer in the morning and by the time we had put this right he had already used up the best performance from his tyres. In the afternoon, with a better set up, he showed that there’s still a reasonable turn of speed in the E20. We look in OK shape on both the hard and soft rubber as well as on high fuel, and we feel there is more to come from the car tomorrow ahead of Qualifying.”