Lotus F1 Team press release
JAMES ALLISON: “OVERALL IT’S BEEN A POSITIVE MORNING”
We will start to know where we stand as things unfold over the coming days and weeks, but it’s still very early doors and the real picture will only come together when we get to Melbourne for the first race.
JAMES, YOU JOIN US HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST DAY OF RUNNING WITH THE E20 HERE IN JEREZ – WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE NEW CAR THUS FAR?
We’ve had a good morning. I was absolutely delighted to see the car pull out of the garage crisply at 9 o’clock, and I must say it looks fantastic. We’ve been lucky enough to have perfect weather for testing. No wind and clear blue skies; it’s ideal.
It’s been a trouble free day so far which is very pleasing. We’ve completed 50 laps and had no difficulties at all. We used this morning to complete a number of runs aimed at ensuring Kimi is comfortable in the car and has the balance to his liking. We’ve run through a series of aerodynamic tests analysing the effects of ride height on downforce levels, and also made changes at the rear of the car which have proved to be quite favourable.
Overall everything has been positive. To have no significant issues in terms of temperatures and main functions of the car allows us to get out there and start working on getting the maximum from it as quickly as possible. This afternoon will be more of the same, but with longer runs.
AS THINGS STAND CURRENTLY KIMI SITS AT THE TOP OF THE TIME SHEETS. HOW SIGNIFICANT ARE LAP TIMES AT THIS EARLY STAGE?
It’s impossible to say. The teams are doing a whole mixture of different programmes at the moment and we obviously don’t have any clear idea of what the others might be working on currently. We will start to know where we stand as things unfold over the coming days and weeks, but it’s still very early doors and the real picture will only come together when we get to Melbourne for the first race.
The important thing is that we’ve completed the most number of laps so far; while there are obviously no prizes for that, it gives us a strong platform on which to base our development programme.
WE’VE NOTICED ROMAIN AND JÉRÔME UP ON THE PIT WALL AND AROUND THE GARAGE WITH THE ENGINEERS – THEY BOTH LOOK REALLY ENTHUSIASTIC…
They’ve been following every move so far! Romain’s race engineer Ayao Komatsu has also been shadowing Simon Rennie, and will continue to do so through this afternoon and tomorrow to ensure that he’s up to speed with the direction we’re moving with the car ahead of Romain’s first run on Thursday.
By the looks of things I think the main challenge for Romain will be containing his enthusiasm! Having said that he will at least have a car that’s slightly more dialled in by the time he takes the wheel.
THE TEAM WERE FULL OF PRAISE FOR THE WAY KIMI WENT ABOUT THE RUNNING IN VALENCIA. HAVE YOU BEEN EQUALLY IMPRESSED WITH HIM THIS MORNING? WHAT HAS HIS FEEDBACK BEEN ON THE E20?
You can tell Kimi is a class act. He gets in the car and is on the pace straight away; there’s no building up to it. His commitment is instant and the lap times show that. His fitness level is also good which has allowed him to be consistent, and he hasn’t had any major ‘moments’ out on track; he seems to have everything very much under control.
So far his feedback on the car has been good. Kimi has been complimentary about the balance of the car, the braking and other features. The steering is slightly heavy for his liking at the moment, but other than that he’s been comfortable.