Lotus F1 Team opened-up strongly but Romain Grosjean experienced a loss of power in the afternoon.
In hot and humid conditions at the Sepang International Circuit, Romain Grosjean was the fourth fastest car in the morning session, but suffered from a loss of power in the afternoon, while Pastor Maldonado accumulated a greater lap tally than his team-mate across both sessions.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes
• Romain ran with an aero rake early in the morning session as part of the evaluation programme. He experienced a loss of power in the afternoon which limited his running.
• Pastor evaluated different front wings in the morning and ran with a new floor in the afternoon. The sidepod bodywork retention mechanism failed on his car during FP2, requiring in-session rectification.
• The second session was predominantly focused on tyre evaluations.
• Pirelli’s hard (orange) compound tyre was used in the morning session, the hard and medium (white) in the afternoon.
What Lotus learned today: The E23 has demonstrated strong potential albeit with a small number of areas requiring attention.
Romain Grosjean (E23-02 - Free practice 1: P4 1:41.543, 14 laps / Free practice 2: P18, 1:42.948, 7 laps): “It was quite a limited day for me in terms of running. We looked quick out of the box in the morning but the afternoon session was way too short because of an issue we’re investigating. It’s quite a different circuit here compared to Australia and the tyres and weather conditions are not the same either so we have quite a bit of work to do in FP3 before we head into qualifying. It’s been a frustrating day for me today, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
Pastor Maldonado (E23-03 - Free practice 1: P12, 1:42.567, 19 laps / Free practice 2: P11, 1:41.877, 15 laps): “The car feels quite a bit different with the tyre allocation here and the different parts we’ve been trying and evaluating. Certainly, I felt happier in the afternoon and on the long run. We saw good pace from Romain in the morning and I was happy with the long run performance so we have some work ahead of us to piece the elements together to get the car where we want it for tomorrow.”
Nick Chester, Technical Director: “There are some strong positives from today despite a few glitches along the way. Romain was quick in the morning whilst Pastor had very consistent race pace in the afternoon. We’re investigating the issue with Romain’s car which looks to be a different issue from that experienced in Australia albeit with similar symptoms. Pastor’s bodywork issue was quite a simple thing, even if it looked a little dramatic. We’ve plenty to do for tomorrow and good potential ahead.”
Lotus F1 Team