Barcelona, February 21th, 2013 (F1plus). – It seems that it was a good day for the Lotus team. Once again the E21 showed that it might have what it takes and finished within the first three in the time scorecard.
Romain Grosjean was today the driver in charge to keep the performance momentum for the team. His peer in the team, Kimi Raikkonen, has been able to set good times, but eventual problems of different nature have hindered his lap tally.
The Frenchman led the field in number of laps with 119 and recorded the third best time with of 1:22.188, around 1/3 of a second slower than pace setter Fernando Alonso.
“I think I’m ready for a sleep after so many laps in the car! It’s good to see reliability today to add to the pace we’ve already seen in the car. We’re still at an early stage of development so it’s really promising to see where we are. “ Grosjean said.
The driver showed to be in good spirits a projected a sense of satisfaction with today’s work at Barcelona. Basically hinting that the team and E21 are moving in the right direction.
“It was difficult out on track as temperatures were so low, but we’ve gained a lot of useful data. The 2013 tyres certainly feel different from last year’s but already we’re starting to understand them. I hope it’s dry tomorrow so we can get some more laps under our belt.” He added.
Alan Permane, the team’s Trackside Operations Director, agrees with Grosjean’ sentiment and believes only good things were achieved today at Circuit of Catalunya.
“From our perspective it was a perfect day. We ticked off every item on the checklist and even had time to spare at the end of the session. That’s your target when you start a day’s testing but it’s seldom achieved, and after a couple of difficult days, it’s all the more satisfying. “ Permane Said.
Not having problems that break the day’s pre-establish program proves to be very helpful, especially when the understanding of the tyres is in play. Lotus ran an uninterrupted “race” mock that helped to gather more data.
“We completed a race distance simulation without any red flags or other stoppages, and that has helped us learn a lot more about Pirelli’s latest tyres.
“In the cold temperatures here, the tyres do look very difficult to manage, especially with high fuel loads in the car. However, as our ‘race’ progressed so tyre performance stabilized and we completed a 20-plus lap stint with consistent lap times. We still have plenty of work to do with set-up but we’re certainly making steps in the right direction.” Permane added.