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4 March  2012

Barcelona Formula One testdays, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. 1 - 4 March 2012

1 March 2012.
Lotus F1 Team returned to the track today for the first of four days testing at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, Spain. Romain Grosjean took the wheel of the modified E20 completing 73 laps and setting the fastest time of the day.

Fast facts:
Track: Barcelona, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E20-01
Weather: Sunny, air 8-16°C, track 16-35°C
Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, aero-focused runs, set-up changes
Laps Completed: 73
Classification: 1st, 1’23"252
Interruptions: KERS battery change
What’s next? Romain will be back in the car tomorrow running through a programme of set up work in the morning followed by race work in the afternoon.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver: “The car was feeling very good and it’s great to bounce back from our dramas to set the fastest time of the day. It’s clear we have solved the problem we encountered and now we have to complete a very full test programme this week. The feeling in the team is fantastic and it’s like last week’s issues never happened. My crew told me that the problems would make us stronger, and this is true. The chassis is stronger, and all the team is stronger. We gathered good data today and we have a few interesting things that we would like to confirm tomorrow which should help us make a good step forwards.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “Our main target for today was to compress as much set-up work as we could into the first day as we are playing catch-up relative to our rivals at this track. Of course, we want to complete as many laps as possible, but this second objective is inevitably compromised somewhat by needing to make many short runs punctuated by set-up changes. Obviously, we’re very pleased to complete the day without any major difficulties to the car after such a troubled start here last week.”

2 March 2012.
Lotus F1 Team went fastest and one lap shy of furthest in the second test day of four at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. Romain Grosjean completed a mammoth 124 laps – almost 600 km - including a race distance simulation. He ended the day with a 1min 22.614secs lap – the fastest by over half a second.

Fast facts:
Track: Barcelona, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E20-01
Weather: Sunny, air 8-21°C, track 9-30°C
Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, aero-focused runs, set-up changes, race distance run.
Laps Completed: 124
Classification: 1st, 1’22"614
Interruptions: Unscheduled bodywork change
What’s next? Kimi Räikkönen will get behind the wheel for the final two days at Barcelona. Tomorrow he will work on set-up including evaluating a new aero package.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:

“I’m very happy with the car, and it was great that we could still run strongly at the end of the session, even after a long stint. At the start of the day we suffered slightly with tyre degradation, but we changed a few things and this improved as the day went on. Today was the first race distance I’ve completed in a long time and I’m feeling pretty good. No doubt my neck will be a little sore tomorrow, but the rest of me is fine!”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

“All in all it’s been a good day. The E20 was once again very reliable, and we completed a lot of laps. Romain wasn’t particularly happy with the car first thing this morning, but we steadily improved it over the day. In the afternoon we completed a full race distance including pit stops. We then went for a couple of setup runs at the end as we had a bit of time left over which was an unexpected surprise. Tyre performance looks good; in particular during the last stint we used a set of hard tyres and managed around 27 laps with very low levels of degradation which is encouraging.”

3 march 2012
Lotus F1 Team had a curtailed day of testing. Power steering issues in the morning and rain in the afternoon limited track time for Kimi Räikkönen to 43 laps.

Fast facts:

Track: Barcelona, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E20-01
Weather: Sunny, air 10-19°C, track 11-24°C
Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, set-up changes.
Laps Completed: 43
Classification: 10th, 1’25"379
Interruptions: Power steering investigation and steering rack change.
What’s next? Kimi Räikkönen will complete the final day of pre-season testing working on set-up work and a race simulation.

Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:

“It was good to get in the E20 after missing testing last week. We had an issue with the power steering in the morning then we didn’t run in the wet, so it was quite a short time for me in the car today. At least we got some runs. The car was reliable when on track meaning we gained some good data for the team. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and we can complete more laps.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

“Aside from the time we lost early on it was clear that we were running a different programme from the other teams today. We were hampered by power steering issues in the morning, which took some time to rectify. Once on track, we steadily improved the car balance through the day. We opted not to run in the rain which meant we completed fewer laps today than would otherwise have been the case.”

4 March 2012

Lotus F1 Team finished their pre-season testing with Kimi Räikkönen setting the fastest time of the day at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona today. Kimi’s 1min 22.030secs lap was the fastest set over the two weeks testing at the 4.7 km circuit. He also completed the furthest distance today, with 121 laps.

Fast facts:

Track: Barcelona, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E20-01
Weather: Sunny, air 9-20°C, track 11-24°C
Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, aero evaluation, set-up changes, race distance run.
Laps Completed: 121
Classification: 1st, 1’22"030
Interruptions: Red flag in the afternoon.
What’s next? The team will head to Melbourne, Australia for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 18.

Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:

“I was happy with today’s running. We didn’t have any major issues so it was certainly better than yesterday. Everything worked, we tried a lot of set-ups on the car and it all came together well. It was a long time in the car today but I feel fine. It was cooler today so the tyres didn’t work as well as otherwise but everything was okay. Of course, the fastest time at the end of the day looks good but no-one will know how fast any of the cars are until we get to qualifying at Albert Park. All the changes we have made over testing have been improving the car, so we’ll have to see what happens in Melbourne in a couple of weeks’ time. I’m feeling positive.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

“We’ve had a good, productive day to conclude our pre-season test programme. After the interruptions of yesterday we made some set-up changes overnight which immediately made Kimi feel more comfortable in the car as the balance was much more to his liking. We then spent the rest of the morning running on medium and then soft tyres, steadily improving the car. Despite having missed a test we are in good shape heading to Melbourne. We’ve completed two race distances and the E20 has proved reliable, easy to set-up and predictable in its handling with both drivers reporting they are happy.”

Eric Boullier,Team Principal:

"After the disappointment of last week, this test was crucial and I think we did a good job. First of all, we’ve been able to confirm that the changes made to the car fixed our front suspension problems. We were confident that the redesign was well conceived and well executed, but we have demonstrated the integrity of the modified part. It is a tribute to the all team, which has been working amazingly hard over the last few days in order to fly the E20 on time to Barcelona. Despite the rain and a few technical glitches, we managed to learn more about the new car. We now have a better understanding of it, and have a few positive setup directions that we can take further. Moreover, both drivers seem happy with the balance and tyre degradation. We are cautiously optimistic for the future and now looking forward to Melbourne."