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11 September 2011

Lotus Renault GP comments on Italina Grand Prix 2011

Friday, Free Practice 1
Lotus Renault GP opened their on-track account in Monza, as the first practice session got underway in hot late summer conditions at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Nursing no signs of tiredness from his birthday celebrations yesterday, Vitaly Petrov led the way for the black and gold with a best time of 1min 26.625secs on Pirelli’s medium tyre compound. The time left Vitaly as the sixth fastest driver at the end of the session.

Bruno Senna, however, came away from his third consecutive first practice session in 16th position, having posted a time of 1min. 27.385secs, again on the white medium compound.

Fastest in the session was Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, who clocked-up a time of 1min 23.865secs in the blazing Italian sun.

Friday, FP2
Bruno Senna emerged as the faster Lotus Renault GP race driver after ongoing hot weather conditions at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza during the second practice session for the Italian Grand Prix.

Bruno enjoyed a trouble-free run to set a 1min 25.325secs lap whilst Vitaly Petrov finished his session with a 1.25.450secs lap.

Bruno ended the day with the 10th fastest time of the session, Vitaly ended the session with the 11th fastest time.

Both drivers used the soft Pirelli and the mediate tyres during the course of the 90 minutes.

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap time of the session, a 1min 24.010secs, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

Saturday, FP3
Bruno Senna managed to emerge from the final practice session of Italian GP weekend in 11th position, one place above Vitaly.

In hot conditions once again, both drivers acquainted themselves with Pirelli’s medium and soft compounds and saw the lap times tumble by more than five tenths of a second from yesterday’s outings.

Once again, the familiar name of Sebastian Vettel headed the field with a time of Both drivers used the soft Pirelli and the mediate tyres during the course of the 60 minutes.

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap time of the session, a 1min 23.170secs, ahead of his team mate Mark Webber and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.

Saturday, Qualifying
It was another strong qualifying day for Lotus Renault GP, with both R31s able to secure top 10 positions in hot conditions for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix. Vitaly will line up in P7 and Bruno in P10.

Bruno demonstrated his ability to cope under pressure, as he knocked Paul Di Resta off 10th position. Vitaly put in his best time of the weekend at the beginning of Q2; a 1min 23.741secs lap allowed him to the garage early on, before competing in Q3 to secure his seventh position with a lap time of 1min 23.530secs.

Reigning Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position for tomorrow’s race, taking pole with a time of 1min 22.275secs. Lewis Hamilton will line up alongside Vettel and Jenson Button behind.

Sunday, race
Bruno Senna interview:
Second race, points for you today - you must be happy?
BS: I’m happy to score my first F1 points today, especially as it was only my second race for the team. Although I started 10th, it was not been an easy job to finish ninth. We suffered some bad luck in the first corner; everybody was cutting the chicane which forced me to drive on the outside, and in the process I lost all the places I had fought so hard for in qualifying.

It must be a huge boost for you personally?
BS: It makes me very happy to know that I am able to put myself in the position of scoring points, and also to fight with the guys who have been doing this for a long time.

You couldn’t quite get past Paul Di Resta?
BS: The pace of the car was clear for all to see, but I wish the race was just one lap longer because I may have been able to pass Paul for eighth.

It is 18 years since we last saw the Senna name on the points board…
BS: I am very happy to get my name on the points board. The team chose a great strategy - they did a great job and the tyre was fast enough where I needed it to be, so I am really looking forward to Singapore.