Feb.10 (Lotus) Lotus F1 Team concluded the first pre-season test of 2012 with Romain Grosjean completing 95 laps of the Jerez circuit today.
Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, evaluation of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package.
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver: “Everything is feeling good. This morning we tried a number of different things on the car, including my first run on the soft tyre. In the afternoon we tried longer runs. Once it warmed up, the track temperature was hotter than yesterday which helps our understanding of the E20 in different conditions. It’s strange to think that we are already a third of the way through pre-season testing. We are pushing to get as much achieved as possible. I’m really enjoying being in the car even though it is hard work. So far my fitness has been good, my neck’s not too bad, but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow! I think everyone will benefit from next week away from the circuit so we can reflect on the data then go to Barcelona with some new parts for the car. I can’t wait.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Our main focus for this week has been orientated around accumulating mileage and testing reliability. The E20 has proved to be reliable, meaning we’ve been able to include some performance work too. Our general programme has been to conduct performance work in the morning, when the track is a little cooler and there’s less wind. In the afternoons, when the temperatures and winds are higher, we have conducted longer runs with heavier fuel loads. Overall during this test we’ve completed almost 1800 km with the car. We did have a few minor radiator leaks over the course of this test but they were easily identified and we have a solution for Barcelona.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “The most encouraging aspect from this week is the feedback from the drivers. Their comments have been full of encouraging statements, including praise for a very secure rear end, good traction and good balance. We haven’t heard positive comments like those during the past couple of seasons. Even ignoring the lap times, the driver comments give us a warm feeling and the best sense of whether we’ve done an okay job.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “This was a very positive test for us. Kimi and Romain both did great jobs in the car. The E20 has been reliable straight out of the box. We were not in Jerez to chase fast lap times, but of course it’s always good to show strong pace. Of course, it is very early days; Melbourne is one month away and that is when we will see where we are. The E20 looks good out on track, it’s a nice shape and it’s very well finished which is a credit to everyone at Enstone.”
What’s next? The E20 will head back to Enstone before returning to Spain for the second pre-season test at Barcelona on 21-24 February.