Interlagos is offering a reasonable challenge with its new track surface.
Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado completed a total of 124 laps after a solid opening day of practice at Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
In the morning, Pastor set the seventh fastest time whilst in the afternoon he was eleventh quickest with Romain just a fraction slower with the twelfth fastest time.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes:
• The first session was predominantly dedicated to aerodynamic assessments, with both cars running with additional data collection equipment.
• Both cars ran with Pirelli’s medium (white) compound tyre in the first session where a total of 54 laps were completed by both cars.
• The second session focused on tyre assessments and further set-up work with 70 laps completed using the medium and soft (yellow) compound tyres.
Romain Grosjean, E22-03
Free practice 1: P15, 1:15.109, 23 laps
Free practice 2: P12, 1:13.714, 37 laps
“There was quite a lot to think about today and conditions weren’t the easiest to make progress as the temperature changed a lot during the day. There were also quite a few red flag interruptions to the afternoon session. Looking at the timesheets, we seem to have reasonable potential here so I’ll be working very closely with my engineers to see what improvements we can make ahead of tomorrow.”
Pastor Maldonado, E22-02
Free practice 1: P7, 1:14.034, 31 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1.13.497, 33 laps
"The car felt pretty good today, like it did in Austin so that gives me a positive outlook ahead of the rest of the weekend. The new surface is quite slippery so we had the usual battle to find grip but I’m happy that the tyre allocation was changed. It was good to end FP1 in the top ten so that has to be the target for qualifying tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We had a reasonably busy day trying to learn the best set-up for this new track surface with the added challenge of the surface being around 20°C hotter in the afternoon than it was in the morning. We completed a good number of laps today, with positive aero work in the morning and solid tyre work in the afternoon. We have a lot of data to analyse plus the potential for rain tomorrow so it will be a busy engineering team ahead of FP3.”
Lotus F1 Team