Lotus: A very interesting and useful day
20 May, 2011
May 20 (Team Lotus) Team and drivers review the first day of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, encompassing free practice 1 and 2.
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20: “Overall we can be very happy about this Friday. I think we’ve seen an improvement today on where we were and throughout the sessions we could see that we were getting more and more out of the new package. The gap to the cars ahead seems reasonably small so I think it’s all positive. The key point is that there is a lot more to come out of it. Optimising the whole update will take time and even though the car felt good on both the options and the primes we know that after going through the data tonight we can make more improvements tomorrow, and in the coming races .”
Jarno Trulli, Car 21: “A bit of a mixed day for me. The team made a change to my steering in the morning session which meant I couldn’t complete the program in FP1 but in the afternoon session we completed a decent number of laps and I could start to feel where we have found some improvements on the car. For much of the day I didn’t really feel like I was getting the most out of it but we have found some of the pace we want to with the updates and with more work there is clearly much more to come .”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “In FP1 we struggled a bit with Jarno as we had a couple of mechanical issues which needed to be resolved during the session. That cut into the program but we redoubled our efforts in FP2 and have had some good feedback from both drivers, especially from Jarno on the new package overall. We have generated a great deal of data from the mileage we completed today so we will analyse that and look to implement it in FP3 and qualifying tomorrow .”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “That was a very interesting and useful day, and good to put so many laps on the new package. As we expected the behaviour of the car is now quite different to what we have been working with so far this season and it will take a lot of fine tuning to get the best out of all the improvements, but I think that on the soft tyre and the longer runs we could clearly see some of the improvements we were aiming for. There are obviously areas we need to focus on, but those can all be dialled out, so all in all this has been a good day with the new package, well done to the whole team for working hard to get it all working so well on the car on its debut and I am sure there is much more to come .”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I always thought it would take some time for us to maximise the potential of the updates we have applied here, especially for the drivers who have basically a new rear end of the car to get to grips with. However, I am very happy with the mileage we have accumulated today and the fact we are faster than we have been before. I cannot remember a Friday when we have run so many laps and that has given us a lot of very useful data for Marianne and her team to work on in the wind-tunnel. We clearly performed very well on the options, maybe not so well on the primes, but for me, even though I am not a veteran of this sport, I knew it would take time to integrate the updates so I keep realistic goals and know that we will keep working hard and moving forward step by step.”