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17 October 2011

Lotus Renault GP comments on South Korean Grand Prix 2011

14 October 2011
Free Practice 1

Lotus Renault GP began its Korean Grand Prix weekend greeted by wet conditions at the Korean International Circuit near Yeongam.

Both Bruno and Vitaly went out for an installation lap but after that it was a waiting game in the garage to see if weather conditions would improve; they didn’t.

Both cars used Pirelli’s orange-marked wet tyre for their install.

Michael Schumacher ended the session with the fastest time of 2min 02.784secs with newly crowned champion Sebastian Vettel second fastest.


FP2
After a near-washout practice session this morning in Korea, Lotus Renault GP encountered brighter skies as they took to the track for Free Practice 2.

Seeking a considerable amount more lap time, Bruno and Vitaly completed their first timed laps of the day early in the session.

Running on Pirelli’s blue-marked intermediate tyres throughout the 90-minute period, Vitaly led the way after posting a session-best time of 1min 54.200secs.

Bruno’s fastest lap was completed in 1 min 55.187secs.

The times left Vitaly in P11 and Bruno in P15 as they look forward to the final practice session of the weekend tomorrow morning.

McLaren’s out-of-form driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the session in 1min 50.828secs.


15 October 2011
FP3

A dry yet overcast Saturday morning in Yeongam allowed Lotus Renault GP to take part in an uninterrupted third practice session as both Vitaly and Bruno gave Pirelli’s soft and super soft tyre compounds their maiden outings of the weekend.

Although using softs for most of his trouble-free session, Vitaly out-paced his team mate on the faster super soft tyre with a time of 1min 39.612secs, which left him in seventh position after 20 laps around the Korean International Circuit.

Birthday boy Bruno was less fortunate. Brief contact with the side wall before the session’s halfway mark resulted in a damaged front wing, and forced the Brazilian to return to the garage for a suspension set-up change.

On returning to the track, he clocked-in with a best time of 1min 40.451secs on the super soft tyre. The time left him 16th in the standings having completed 19 laps.

At the top end of the rankings, it was a case of Rule Britannia as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton took the top two times of the session.

Qualifying
Lotus Renault GP has one car in the top ten for the Korean Grand Prix after Vitaly set a 1min 38.124secs for eighth position on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Bruno wasn’t able to deliver as well as he wanted and will start the race from P15 after setting a lap of 1min 38.791secs in Q2.

Both drivers started Q1 using soft tyres before switching to super softs to take them through to Q2. A scrubbed then new super soft strategy was employed in Q2 - taking Vitaly through for a go at the big money prize, but Bruno’s work ended there.

Vitaly went out on his used super softs to set his Q3 time, with a subsequent run on new super softs curtailed as it would not have moved him up the grid.

As a contrast to Friday, Saturday saw no rain in Yeongam as Lewis Hamilton took pole position with a lap of 1min 35.820secs with Sebastian qualifying second.

16 October 2011
Race


Lotus Renault GP suffered a pointless finish at the Korean Grand Prix after a mistake on lap 16 left Vitaly smarting from a case of what might have been, having started the race from eighth on the grid.

Bruno, meanwhile, was unable to advance many places from P15, as he crossed the line in P13.

Starting on the fourth row of the grid on the super soft (option) tyres, Vitaly began the race well, maintaining his starting position. Shortly after stopping to change onto a new set of super softs on lap 14, however, he collided with Michael Schumacher. A tyre puncture and damaged front suspension meant a return to the pits, which ultimately brought an end to his race.

Bruno also endured a difficult race. After falling back four places at the start, he was able to recover some ground but could only make his way up to P13 as he crossed the line after 55 laps.

It was business as usual for recently-crowned champion Sebastian Vettel, as he claimed victory ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton and Australian Mark Webber.