Lotus: A good solid Friday for us with nothing untoward to note

Romain Grosjean set the third fastest time on the opening day of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, with Kimi Räikkönen third in the morning and eighth in the afternoon after a productive day of running at the Hungaroring.

Both cars ran with the team’s slimline bodywork configuration and without the ‘Device’ for what was both drivers’ first taste of the latest Medium and Soft compound Pirelli tyres.

Technical Programme Notes:

  • Both cars ran with new mirrors, rear floor updates and exhaust configurations.
  • Pirelli’s Medium compound tyre was used in the morning, the Medium and Soft in the afternoon.
  • Cooling levels were monitored closely in the high temperatures.

What We Learned Today:

  • Setup was modified for the latest specification tyres.
  • Soft tyre performance and long run performance were both favourable today, with evident areas for performance gains tomorrow.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03

  • Free practice 1: P3, 1:23.010, 20 laps
  • Free practice 2: P8, 1:22.011, 32 laps

Kimi: “It wasn’t ideal today but it wasn’t that bad either. We took a bit of time to understand the new tyres and it was also very hot. It’s too early to say if the heat will suit us with these new tyres, but we’ll soon have a better idea. I had some traffic in the afternoon and so wasn’t able to set a fast lap on new tyres, plus we have some areas to improve on with the setup. We’ll try to do the best that we can in qualifying and we’ll see where we are. If we get the car right we should be ok tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-02

  • Free practice 1: P5, 1:23.111, 20 laps
  • Free practice 2: P3, 1:21.417, 40 laps

Romain: “It’s been a good day overall. I didn’t get to try the new tyres at Silverstone so the main focus was to work on getting the most from them which all went ok. To be honest they’re not really night and day from the old ones, which is good as it means we haven’t had to change too much. There’s still a bit of graining and degradation to deal with but that’s normal. Our pace looks pretty good on both compounds, but the field is quite close so it’s hard to say where we are. We’ll just keep doing our best to find the right compromise for qualifying and the race and see where we stand at the end of the weekend.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “A good solid Friday for us with nothing untoward to note – save for a leaky drinks system – during the course of the day. The car is clearly working well here and we have no concerns about the heat. Kimi’s afternoon time isn’t representative as he got caught up with a McLaren on his fast lap and we have no concerns about our long or short run pace. We paid particular attention to the various temperature levels on the car to ensure cooling levels are sufficient for Sunday and we’re happy with all the data we’ve seen so far.” (Lotus)

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