Practice One


Bruno Senna, R31-04
P11, 1:36.487, 18 laps

Vitaly Petrov, R31-06
P10, 1:36.370, 18 laps

Lotus Renault GP began its preparations for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix looking far more pacey than in the last outing at Singapore.

Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renalut F1 Team
Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renalut F1 Team

Photo by: xpb.cc

Suzuka’s sinuous silhouette served the R31 and drivers Vitaly and Bruno well, with pleasant ambient temperatures and light winds watching over the 10th and 11th fastest times set in the session.

It was a new suit for Bruno’s car with the tighter bodywork package in place, whilst Vitaly’s vehicle lay dormant in the garage for much of the early part of the session as the steering rack was changed after the initial version sprung a leak in excitement from Suzuka’s challenge.

Both cars used Pirelli’s white-marked medium compound and gained good data on track, leading to a host of set-up changes during the session including anti-roll bar variation.

Vitaly ended the session the faster of the duo with his 1min 36.370secs finishing ahead of Bruno by 0.117secs after both completed 18 laps.

Jenson Button, the only driver capable of beating Sebastian Vettel to the 2011 title, ended the session fastest with a 1min 33.634secs with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton second fastest.

Practice Two


Bruno Senna, R31-04
P14, 1:34.557, 27 laps

Vitaly Petrov, R31-06
P9, 1:33.446, 36 laps

Vitaly Petrov wasted no time in setting the marker in FP2 at Suzuka, after he held the fastest time for the first eight minutes of the session with a lap of 1min 35.339secs on the medium tyre.

Bruno Senna, Renault F1 Team
Bruno Senna, Renault F1 Team

Photo by: xpb.cc

In warm October conditions and in front of a sizeable Japanese crowd, both drivers embarked on their outings using Pirelli’s medium tyre once again. Resuming action with the tighter bodywork package, Bruno followed his team mate by posting a best time on the mediums of 1min 36.713secs before spinning off the track at turn 1.

After switching onto the yellow-marked soft tyre for the second half of the session, Vitaly and Bruno improved on their earlier times, posting session-best times of 1min 33.446secs and 1min 34.557secs respectively.

Vitaly finished in P9, over eight tenths ahead of his team mate Bruno in P14

Jenson Button once again headed the field with a time of 1min 31.901secs.