Lotus press release
Lotus F1 Team rounded off pre-season testing in style today, with Kimi setting the fastest time recorded at the Circuit de Catalunya so far this year, and completing the day’s highest number of laps in the process
A bright start to the day was overshadowed with a late drizzle, but this did little to dampen the spirits in the Lotus F1 Team garage as Kimi set a time of 1:22.030 just as the chequered flag dropped before lunch - a benchmark which would remain unbeaten for the remainder of the session. More significantly, the Finn completed 121 laps of the 4.7km circuit which included a race simulation, complete with pit stops.
Kimi was pleased to gain a good day’s running in the E20, and in particular with the positive reaction the car gave to setup changes throughout the day. "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. I spent a long time in the car but I feel fine. It was also cooler today so the tyres didn’t work as well 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."
No-one will know how fast any of the cars are until we get to qualifying at Albert Park
Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane was equally satisfied with the performance of the E20, with two race simulations completed this week and a good deal of positive feedback from the drivers. "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."
Team Principal Eric Boullier was full of praise for the efforts of the team back at Enstone, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Kimi and Romain would be out on track this week. 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."
Lotus F1 Team will be back in action at the season opener in Australia. The race weekend kicks off with free practice one and two on Friday 16th March, followed by qualifying on Saturday 17th and the race on Sunday 18th.