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3 May  2012

Mugello test days

 

TUESDAY 1ST MAY 2012
Lotus F1 Team completed only morning session running due to inclement weather on the first of three days testing at the delightfully located Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy. Jérôme D’Ambrosio sampled the E20 for the first time, completing 40 trouble free laps. Because of today’s weather-induced reduced running, Romain Grosjean will drive for the next two days - contrary to the original plan of Kimi Räikkönen running tomorrow and Romain only on Thursday - due to the uncertain weather predictions for the next two days.

Fast facts:

Track: Mugello, Italy, 5.25km
Chassis: E20-02
Weather: Raining with dry spells, air 16-24°C, track 17-27°C
Programme: Aerodynamic work, sensor measurement work, intermediate tyre running, medium slick tyre running, rain contemplation.
Laps Completed: 40
Classification: 4th, 1’24"048
Interruptions: Rain and red flags.
What’s next? Romain Grosjean will take to the wheel of the E20 for the next two days at Mugello.
Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Lotus F1 Team Third Driver:
“It was great to finally get my hands on the E20 and I’d like to thank the team again for giving me this opportunity. It’s a fantastic car and I felt confident with it straight away, especially in the dry. It’s a real shame we’ve been limited by the weather today in terms of what we could achieve, but we had known for a few days that rain was forecast so it’s not a big shock. We managed to complete 20 laps in both wet and dry conditions which gives me a good knowledge of the car and will help me be a better asset to the team with this experience.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“It was not the most ideal day, but in spite of the weather we managed to get some useful laps on the board. Of course, it was the first taste of the E20 for Jérôme who was very happy with the car including his seating position and all the controls. This is important, as it means he will be much better prepared if called upon again further into the season. The mixed conditions, running intermediates to start and then switching to the medium compound slicks, also gives us a good base line for Romain over the next two days. We’ve opted for one driver for the next two days so we can make better use of the time after losing this afternoon’s running.”

James Allison, Technical Director:
“We had a busy programme lined up for Jérôme including a fair amount of aerodynamic work, sensor measurement work and of course preparing foundations for Romain over the next two days. We’ve been able to do some of that work in the limited dry running that was available, but there is now a lot more we need to fit in to Wednesday and Thursday. The important thing is we now have base line to build on, so the next two days should be much more productive.”


WEDNESDAY 2ND MAY 2012
Lotus F1 Team set the pace at the second day of testing at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy, with a time of 1min 21.603s set by Romain Grosjean early in the morning session being the lap to beat. It was equalled late in the day, but never bettered.

Fast facts:

Track: Mugello, Italy, 5.25km
Chassis: E20-02
Weather: Glorious sunshine, clouds, air 14-25°C, track 15-37°C
Programme: Aerodynamic work, setup work, high and medium fuel runs, data collection and correlation, sun appreciation
Laps Completed: 97
Classification: 1st, 1:21.603
Interruptions: Red flags – no issues for team
What’s next? Romain Grosjean will take to the wheel of the E20 tomorrow for the final day at Mugello.
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:
“It’s always good to end the day on top, but we have to remember that in testing lap times mean very little. Having said that, the car felt great and I was very comfortable from the start. This test gives us an opportunity to try things that we wouldn’t have time to do during a race weekend, so hopefully it’ll help us to keep pushing forward. We’ve done a lot of setup work today, and for sure we’ll need to take some time to look through all the data and analyse what we need to focus on tomorrow, but it’s a good baseline for the final day.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“Romain was very happy with the car straight away. We made a couple of minor balance adjustments to fine tune it for him after Jérôme’s running yesterday and then went into our test programme. Today we were concentrating on different suspension setups, so we had a fairly major change over lunch which took a couple of hours. We’ve got some good data from this which we’ll need to sit down and assess tonight to decide what our strategy will be for tomorrow; i.e. whether we re-test or stick with what we’ve got. The car is working very well here; we’ve run a variety of medium and high fuel loads as we would at a race weekend to assess the effects of the suspension change, and we’re pleased with what we’ve seen. Overall, a positive day.”


THURSDAY 3RD MAY 2012
Lotus F1 Team completed the final day of testing at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy this afternoon, with Romain Grosjean the fastest driver of the day. His best lap of 1min 21.035secs was also the fastest time of the three day test.

Fast facts:

Track: Mugello, Italy, 5.25km
Chassis: E20-02
Weather: Cloudy with sunshine, air 14-24°C, track 15-30°C
Programme: Aerodynamic work, setup work, suspension configuration & evaluation, high and medium fuel runs, data collection and correlation
Laps Completed: 66
Classification: 1st, 1:21.035
Interruptions: Red flags – no issues for the team
What’s next? The team heads to the Circuit de Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 11-13.
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:
“It was another nice day today so I have been lucky with the weather here. We continued to work on the car and have gained more valuable data. We made a big change to the car at lunchtime and everything went according to plan. Mugello puts high demands on the driver so it’s been a very good experience for me – and quite a workout! We were conducting a specific programme of evaluating components, so to be quick relative to our opposition even when we were not looking specifically to try to top the times is satisfying. I’m happy at the progress we’ve made here in Italy and looking forward to seeing how well this translates into lap time when we get to Barcelona.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“After looking at the data from yesterday, we ran further back-to-back tests on our suspension configurations. Track conditions were better today as a result of yesterday’s running. We stopped early for lunch so that we could change the suspension and be out running straight away in the afternoon session. In the afternoon we also assessed some new floor updates applicable for Barcelona, as well as a rear suspension update fitted late in the day. After the rain on the first day, it’s been a valuable two dry days of testing. Mugello is quite hard on the tyres; not in terms of degradation, but through the high speed loadings generating heat. This has taught us some interesting lessons applicable to the rest of the season. Mugello is also an excellent circuit for doing aerodynamic evaluation, so it has been time well spent here.”