Lotus: Overall, the car looks quick, reliable and we’re happy

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Räikkönen ended the day with the third fastest time on the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend, with Romain Grosjean fourth in the order with an identical lap time of 1min 25.116secs. Sunny weather characterised both of today’s sessions at the historic Autodromo di Monza.

Technical programme notes

  • Kimi ran all day with the longer chassis configuration E21.
  • Both cars ran with the slimline rear bodywork package in low drag Monza.
  • Kimi evaluated a different front wing in the afternoon.
  • Pirelli’s hard (orange) tyre was used in the morning and the hard and medium (white) compound slick tyres were used in the afternoon session.

What we learned today:

  • The E21 demonstrated good pace in all configurations utilised.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03

  • Free practice 1: P5, 1:25.941, 22 laps
  • Free practice 2: P3, 1:25.116, 36 laps

“The car felt pretty normal for me today and we’re going to look at the data in order to make a decision on whether to use today’s specification or the older one. It doesn’t feel much different to me so it’ll be a decision based on what the data says. Today we were a little surprised to be third fastest, but we’re still quite far away from the fastest cars. There are still some areas for improvement so hopefully we can find more speed for tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-02

  • Free practice 1: P12, 1:26.295, 23 laps
  • Free practice 2: P4, 1:25.116, 40 laps

“We had a productive day today. The timesheets showed that Kimi and I were very close, however that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot. Kimi tested the new long wheelbase car and from today’s work we have sent data back to the factory and we will see what the outcome is when analysis comes back. As drivers, our feedback on the feel of the car is also key. It is hard to precisely compare the two though; it could provide more brake stability which is what we all want here in Monza, however each driver also has their own braking style.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “That was a fairly straightforward Friday for us with both cars evenly matched and both drivers happy. We’ve completed a good amount of low and high fuel runs as well as evaluating the two tyre compounds for race strategy. Romain was happy on longer runs whilst Kimi’s afternoon session was slightly interrupted with an engine water pressure issue during his long run, but this was no big drama. Overall, the car looks quick, reliable and we’re happy today.”

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