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31 July 2011

Lotus Renault GP: Hungarian Formula One GP 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

Bruno Senna had his first taste of Grand Prix weekend R31 track action today as he completed a trouble-free FP1 session in Nick Heidfeld’s R31-04.

Bruno completed 25 laps using one set of Pirelli’s soft compound P-Zeros to set a time of 1min 25.855secs, the 15th fastest time of the session.

Vitaly Petrov led the way for Lotus Renault GP with a 1min 25.093secs lap, the tenth fastest in the session. He also used just one set of the soft tyre.

Fastest in FP1 McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1m 23.350secs.

In the second practice session of Eastern Europe’s showcase motorsport event, Nick returned to the R31 alongside Vitaly as Lotus Renault GP returned to its usual line-up.

As the sun began to break through in Budapest, Nick led the way for LRGP, after posting a best time on the Pirelli supersoft tyres of 1min 23.861secs. This left him 14th quickest in the session.

The German completed a total of 28 laps using both Pirelli’s soft and supersoft compounds in the process.

Teammate Vitaly finished three places below with a time of 1min 24.546secs, more than six tenths behind Nick, again trialing both compounds on the Hungaroring track.

Fastest in FP2 was McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1min 21.018secs.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld completed their preparations for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring at a bright, sunny but windy third practice session ahead of this afternoon’s hour of qualifying.

Both drivers ran with the soft compound for the majority of the 60 minutes running before switching to the super soft compound late on.

Vitaly set the session’s ninth fastest with a 1min 23.175secs, using the super soft tyres. Nick meanwhile lost a reasonable amount of time sat in the garage waiting for a fuel issue to be rectified, before taking to the track to set the eleventh fastest time, a 1min 23.281secs, using the super soft tyre.

Both drivers reported improved balance and performance from yesterday.

Sebastian Vettel topped the times with a 1m 21.168s to head Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

Vitaly Petrov was the fastest LRGP driver in a difficult qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix where both cars narrowly missed out on a Q3 qualifying run.

Vitaly will line up on the grid for tomorrow’s race in 12th position with Nick Heidfeld directly behind him in 14th with under two tenths of a second separating both drivers’ best times, set using Pirelli’s super soft compound P-Zero.

Variable weather conditions with relatively brisk winds did not assist finding a good set-up for the R31 in a session where Sebastian Vettel took pole position with a time of 1min 19.815secs.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Nick Heidfeld interview:
A disappointing race today for you…
NH: Not a good race for me today, and it’s the second consecutive weekend without finishing, so obviously I’m very disappointed but I have to pick up from here and look forward to a better race next time around.

What happened with your second pit stop out there?
NH: My second pit stop took longer than expected because there was a problem with one of my wheels. The car is not designed to stay running on high revs for so long so it started smoking and caught fire. I noticed the smoke coming from the rear of the car as I was driving out of the pit lane so I had to pull over and cut my race short.

You’ve not had the best of luck lately?
NH: The last couple of races have not been what I hoped for, but we have a few weeks now to reassess and come back stronger after the August break.