Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes
- We ran the Coandă exhaust system on Kimi’s car for both sessions.
- Romain ran with the Singapore generation rear wing for evaluation at the start of FP1, swapping to the Japan spec rear wing for the remainder of the day.
- Pirelli’s soft compound tyre was used in the morning, the soft and super soft in the afternoon.
- The Coandă exhaust performed as expected aerodynamically.
- Heavy fuel balance and tyre degradation levels were both promising.
Free practice 1 : P11, 1:40.929, 14 laps
Free practice 2 : P10, 1:39.839, 26 laps
“The circuit is okay ; it’s surprisingly bumpy in some parts but it’s quite different from other places we race. It’s difficult for me to say about the exhaust until I’ve sat down with the engineers and gone through the data. We’ll try to improve the car for tomorrow as it wasn’t very easy to drive and get a good lap today. Let’s see if we can get it completely right and maybe we can be in the top five in qualifying.”
Romain Grosjean, E20-03
Free practice 1 : P8, 1:40.422, 22 laps
Free practice 2 : P11, 1:39.957, 28 laps
“It’s not been the easiest day. I think we still have some work to do with the car to get the best out of the tyres so tomorrow morning will be important. The track is interesting but it’s not been so hard to learn. The trickiest part is definitely Turns 11 & 12 which are not easy to get exactly right but overall it’s not too bad. On the positive side we’ve had a good amount of time learning the circuit and gathered a lot of data, so hopefully we can analyse things overnight and see an improved performance by the time we get to qualifying.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director :
“We’re happy with how the new exhaust worked from a performance perspective and now need to assess if there are any potential reliability implications due to the hot exhaust gas running in different areas than usual. Early impressions are certainly good and we expect to retain it for the rest of the weekend with Kimi. Both drivers learnt the circuit very quickly. Romain complained of a little too much oversteer and with Kimi there’s still potential with the setup, especially as we learn more about the new exhaust. Both drivers reported that they were very happy with the balance of the car when on high fuel loads and degradation levels look manageable from the tyres so it’s been a productive first day.”
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