Esteban Ocon completed a strong showing in his first Grand Prix practice session.
Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Ocon completed a total of 133 laps on the opening day of practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina. Lotus F1 Team Junior driver Esteban drove Romain’s car in the daytime FP1 session whilst Romain returned to partner Pastor in the evening FP2 session. Both cars ran reliably throughout today.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes
• The first session was predominantly dedicated to aerodynamic assessments as well as giving Esteban his first taste of a Formula 1 Grand Prix practice session.
• Both cars ran with Pirelli’s soft (yellow) compound tyre in the first session where a total of 60 laps were completed by both cars.
• The second session focused on tyre assessments and further set-up work with 73 laps completed using the soft and super soft (red) compound tyres.
• Pastor ran with a new larger display steering wheel as part of the development programme for 2015.
Esteban Ocon (E22-03 - Free Practice 1: P16, 1:47.066, 29 laps): “It felt great to be out on track today. I didn’t push too hard too soon, but everything felt good. Certainly the car is pretty different to drive from the previous generation F1 cars I’ve driven before, it’s definitely more complicated in terms of all the settings and the driving style required is a change too. I’m quite happy with the pace show, but I was driving with margin so there’s more speed to come in next week’s test.”
Romain Grosjean (E22-03 - Free Practice 2: P17, 1:44.986, 35 laps): “We still have some work to do to get the E22 where we want it to be. I did miss some track time in FP1, and you notice this a little, even if the temperature conditions are different from what we see when it matters this weekend. There’s still pace to be found in the car and I’m sure we’ll unlock more speed for qualifying tomorrow.”
Pastor Maldonado (E22-02 - Free Practice 1: P15, 1:46.711, 31 laps / Free Practice 2: P12, 1.44.005, 38 laps): "It was a good day with a lot of work completed. I’m happy with the way my car feels and there is good potential for the car tomorrow and in the race too. We still can find some more improvements but for sure I am looking forward to making some improvements in FP3 then pushing to the maximum in qualifying.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was a solid Friday for us with all of our assessment programmes completed. All three drivers delivered what we wanted so we have plenty of information to assess ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session. We ran fewer laps in the first session as the conditions are far less representative of what we’ll see in qualifying and the race. Esteban did a thoroughly respectable job in the car today, giving us everything we wanted from him. He’s definitely a great talent for the future.”
Lotus F1 Team