Lotus demonstrated strong potential on practice for the Abu Dhabi GP

Kimi Raikkonen: "The shorter chassis feels okay here."

Kimi Räikkönen ended the first day of practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the fourth fastest time of the day at the Yas Marina Circuit; racking up the joint-highest number of laps completed in the process [65 across the two sessions].

Romain Grosjean was fastest in the first session, but had a brake and then a vibration issue in the second session to end the day twelfth fastest.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 E21
Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 E21

Photo by: XPB Images

Kimi Räikkönen (Free Practice 1: P6, 1:44.929, 23 laps / Free Practice 2: P4, 1:41.726, 42 laps): “The car feels okay and we had a pretty normal Friday. The shorter chassis feels okay here, but I didn’t drive it back to back with the longer one so it’s difficult to say which is better. We’re still trying to get rid of some understeer, but on this circuit it feels better so far.

As always, there are some improvements we can make to the car so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean (Free Practice 1: P1, 1:44.241, 21 laps / Free Practice 2: P12, 1:42.607, 18 laps): “It’s been a pretty good day even if we missed time in the later session whilst the brakes were worked on. We also had a little vibration that needed looking at, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The car feels pretty good as we saw with the fastest time in the first session, so I’m sure we’ll get on top of everything we need to for tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “As always in Abu Dhabi, we saw two very different sessions on Friday; the first taking place in daylight with very high track temperatures, the second in much more representative evening temperatures which is what we’ll see for qualifying and the race. We completed limited setup work in FP1 – focusing on setting ride heights rather than car balance – then used FP2 to complete our normal evaluations of the two tyre compounds.

Unfortunately Romain had a brake disc failure which lost him some track time, and there was a small vibration when he returned to the track so we cut his day short in order to fully investigate this issue. Kimi meanwhile had a good day and looks competitive on both tyres. He wanted to try the short wheelbase car again as he felt its characteristics would suit this circuit. So far it all looks good and this configuration will be kept on his car for the remainder of the weekend. His long-run pace looks very encouraging on both tyres.”

Lotus F1 Team

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About this article
Series FORMULA 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Romain Grosjean
Teams Lotus F1
Article type Practice report
Tags abu dhabi gp, grosjean, lotus, raikkonen