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Found 6 results

  1. The cruel hand of fate dealt a bitter blow for Lotus F1 Team at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with both cars out of the race by the end of the first lap. Pastor Maldonado was pitched into a spin from behind, resulting in his car hitting the barriers, whilst Romain Grosjean suffered from a loss of power, and retired at the end of the first lap. Romain started from P8 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, but suffered from an immediate loss of power, retiring at the end of the first lap. Pastor from P9 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, before being pitched into a spin and ending his race in the tyre barriers after the exit of turn 1. Romain Grosjean, DNF, E23-02 “We had a loss of power on the formation lap; there was a technical issue which we are investigating. It’s not how you want to end your race, but we know the car is good and we’re miles ahead of where we were last season. We have a good baseline with the E23 and a good engine. We also have new pieces that we are bringing over for the next races, so more performance coming. The first race is always a bit of a tricky one, you never know what might happen and, unfortunately it was bad luck for us today but it doesn’t matter: I’m still very hopeful for the year." Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03 “Racing is like this. It was quite busy start, going into a narrow corner. I just felt a big hit on the back and didn’t see what happened. It’s disappointing because it was a great chance for us to have a great race. The pace of the car was looking much better than in qualifying, so looking forward we can learn from this race. It was a good weekend until today, it’s looking quite promising. In two weeks we will be again fighting for points and again doing our best to be even more competitive." Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal "What a frustrating day! Pastor’s race ended through no fault of his own and Romain’s race was over at the end of the first lap too. This is not the way any team wants to start the season and there were a few choice words in the garage when we realised our race was over so soon. It was particularly frustrating as we had great potential to deliver very strong results today. The team is not downcast, however, and we have a lot of enthusiasm for the races ahead as we’ve seen what is possible from the season ahead. The whole vibe of the team is tremendously positive.” Nick Chester, Technical Director "A very short race for us to end a weekend full of promise. Pastor was an innocent victim whilst Romain suffered from a loss of power which we are investigating. We ran very reliably in pre-season testing, but sometimes certain issues don’t manifest themselves until the season starts. Everyone back in Enstone will get to the root of the issue and we’ll come back fighting in Malaysia. Fortunately today was one race in twenty and we’ve demonstrated over the course of the weekend that the E23 Hybrid has tremendous potential. We can’t wait to exploit this potential once we get to Sepang."
  2. A tough season opener and a difficult start to the 2014 F1® season for The Lotus F1® Team down-under. They always said it was going to be a dramatic first race in this new era of F1® and dramatic it was. Merlbourne’s Albert Park 3.3 mile circuit provided the stage for top-flight motorsport entertainment that saw Lotus put up a positive assault in what was always going to be a tough race for the black and gold team. Disappointing qualifying for both drivers meant whilst Pastor Maldonado began at the very back of the grid, Romain Grosjean began from the pit-lane and was then further slapped with a drive-through penalty for leaving the pit garage early. Never-the-less, after lights out Maldonado was soon on the march and ascended to P11 before difficulties with the new turbo recovery unit hampered his fight resulting in his retirement in lap 29. Grosjean faired marginally better in spite of the odds. A consistent battle from lights out saw him needle through the back of the field ascending to P12. However, with just 12 laps to go KERS failure for Romain Grosjean determined his retirement also. Romain Grosjean DNF E22-03: “In a way, it was a pretty positive day. I expected to do around 15 to 20 laps in the race after all the issues we’ve had this weekend, and we managed 45! We’ve learnt a lot today and all the changes made to the car have been positive. We still have a long way to go, but at least I know more about tyre usage, all my engineers know where we need to improve with the chassis, and we’ve learnt a lot about aero balance and fuel consumption. Of course there's more to do with the energy management and recovery and some work yet with the braking. We’ve still got lots of work to do, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.” Pastor Maldonado DNF E22-01: “It was obviously very disappointing, but if you look at the positives we did more laps than in the pre-season which is quite encouraging as we have more data which is very important for making progress. We had a very negative free practice but we did plenty of laps during the race which is very positive for the team. I'm looking forward to the next race and we'll keep pushing.” Frederico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: “Though the results do not show it, everyone in the team has done a fantastic job in very challenging circumstances. Both our cars finished with problems related to the same MGU-K component so we and Renault F1 Sport both know where we have to focus for our improvements heading to Malaysia. It’s clear we also have other improvements to make, but the team spirit and resolve has not diminished. We know what we have to do and we will do it.” The next round of the competition see’s the team head to Malaysia and to the Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur on the 30th March.
  3. Mark H

    Sunday 17 March - Race

    Kimi Räikkönen opened up Lotus F1 Team’s 2013 championship points account with a maximum deposit by taking victory in the first race of the season; the Australian Grand Prix. Kimi made two pit stops – whilst most of his opposition made three – to secure his 20th Grand Prix win, equalling the tally of compatriot Mika Häkkinen. Romain Grosjean came home in tenth position after a difficult race. Kimi leads the Drivers’ Championship with 25 points to Fernando Alonso’s 18, whilst the team occupies second position in the Constructors’ Championship with 26 points to Ferrari’s 30. · Kimi and Romain both started on used supersoft compound tyres. · Kimi pitted for new medium tyres on laps 9 and 34, Romain on laps 5, 19 and 37. Kimi Räikkönen, P1, E21-03 “I’m happy for the team and for myself also. We’ve had a quick car all weekend and there were no issues with it either, so we could just focus on trying different things and getting the setup how we wanted. I had a good feeling that we would be ok with the tyres after practice and the team got the strategy perfect. I made a few places at the start and then had a good battle with Lewis [Hamilton] but after that it was quite simple; probably one of my easiest wins. You can’t start the season much better than winning the first race and of course we hope we can be fighting at the front of the Championship, but there’s a long way to go still and we need to keep pushing hard all the way.” Romain Grosjean, P10, E21-01 “Something felt wrong with my car, so I have to sit down with the team and analyse where the issue came from. It felt so good all weekend until the race itself, but in the end the race was long and quite difficult for me. We know that Albert Park can be a tricky circuit and the weather has certainly not helped today. It’s been a great weekend for the team with Kimi’s win so it’s clear there’s pace in the car. Let’s hope I can unlock that pace too next weekend in Sepang.” Eric Boullier, Team Principal "I’m very happy. After Kimi’s great start we were hoping that we could achieve a podium finish, then as the race unfolded and we saw the other teams pitting – showing that they were on three-stop strategies – our position became stronger and stronger. It’s a fantastic feeling to open the season in this way. Kimi drove impeccably all weekend and gave the team his all. Romain had a difficult race and we have to analyse what went wrong for him. This win is a further testament to all the hard work which goes on at Enstone and we owe tremendous thanks to each and every employee. We head to Malaysia in the best position we could be. ” James Allison, Technical Director “It was a splendid thing we saw today. It’s a day like this which make everything about this job worthwhile and that will be true for everyone involved with the team. It’s great. We were a little deflated after qualifying, as we knew the car had better pace than our grid positions suggested. Nevertheless we were confident from the long run pace we’d seen on Friday that we could make a two-stop strategy work. It was lovely to see the lap times ticking off metronomically without any real fear that the tyres weren’t going to go the distance. Hopefully we can repeat Kimi’s fantastic performance again next weekend with both cars.” Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader “As we’ve seen this weekend the field is incredibly close and each detail counts even more, so we’ve worked hard with the team to exploit every last area of performance from the engine over the winter period. In the race we were aggressive with the fuel strategy to maintain a healthy gap over Fernando and Kimi did a great job with managing the tyres. Romain also came in strongly at the end to get a double points’ finish. A fantastic way to start the season!.”
  4. Kimi Räikkönen qualified seventh and Romain Grosjean eighth in today’s resumed qualifying session for this afternoon’s Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. With an initially wet but rapidly drying track, both drivers progressed through the Q2 session using Pirelli’s intermediate tyres. The top ten determining Q3 session saw all competitors start on intermediates before moving to the supersoft dry compound. Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03 – Q3: P7, 1:28.738 “It was an okay qualifying session. We had just one lap on the dry tyres and I got a bit sideways at the end on a damp patch which meant I lost some time so that was a bit disappointing. The car seems to be working well. It had the speed, but when you have only one lap on dry tyres on a damp circuit setting a fast lap is not the easiest thing to do. The weather seems to be changing very quickly, but we’ve seen that before in Melbourne. It’s the same for everybody and it will be in the race too.” Romain Grosjean, E21-01 – Q3: P8, 1:29.013 “That has to be one of the trickiest qualifying sessions I’ve ever had; the delay overnight then really mixed weather today made it a big challenge. Unfortunately we only got one flying lap on the dry tyres in Q3, which was a shame as it’s hard to know the limit in these kind of drying conditions. I had a small lock up into Turn 3 which lost me quite a bit of time so it could have been a bit better, but the main thing is we have both cars starting in the points positions. The race is long and it looks like being dry, so let’s see what we can do from here.” James Allison, Technical Director: “There’s nothing to suggest we shouldn’t have a strong race.” How did we perform in qualifying – part two? Reading a drying track like we had today is always very difficult. There was the speed in the car to do better had there been more constant conditions. What’s our potential in the race? We’re more than adequately placed to put in a good showing this afternoon. We’ve shown well on heavy fuel in pre-season testing and the start will be interesting on the supersoft tyres. What about the weather considerations? We’re expecting it to be cool and dry. The temperatures will make graining an ever present threat, but there’s nothing to suggest we shouldn’t have a strong race.
  5. The Melbourne skies offered up their famed four seasons in one day to interrupt and delay qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. An eventful day at Albert Park saw Romain Grosjean top the times in FP3, then set the third fastest lap in Q1 before the remainder of qualifying was postponed. Kimi Räikkönen went fifth fastest in FP3 and eleventh quickest in the Q1 session. Qualifying will resume at Albert Park with the Q2 session, starting at 11:00 local time (01:00 CET). Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03. FP3: P5, 1:27.625. Q: (Q1) P11, 1:45.545. “It wasn’t easy with the traffic, people going off and the yellow flags but we went through to the second qualifying session tomorrow so it’s not all bad. The car doesn’t feel too bad in the wet – it’s an improvement on where we were last year for sure - but today the challenge was finding some clear space on track. The session being delayed until tomorrow was a shame but it’s the same for everyone.” Romain Grosjean, E21-01. FP3: P1, 1:26.929. Q: (Q1) P3, 1:44.284. “The day started pretty well; it’s the first time I’ve topped an official practice session and I have to say a big thank you to the team for their hard work since yesterday. We took a different direction with the setup and it’s clear we made the right decision. It’s frustrating to delay the rest of qualifying, but there were some good things for us to take from Q1. It’s no secret that wet conditions did not favour our car last year, but from what we saw today there have definitely been some improvements. I’m sorry for the fans as they have been fantastic all week and stuck around despite the weather. We have a big day tomorrow and it looks like staying dry, so hopefully we can put on a good show for them.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It’s been fun today.” How did the team fare in the limited dry running today? The changes we made to Romain’s car allied to the revised aerodynamic package clearly made a difference which was highlighted by him setting the session’s fastest time before the rain started. He was very happy with the improvement and is as content with his car as Kimi is with his. It’s been fun today reacting to the different weather conditions. How about in the rain? We’re in good shape. We’ve made some improvements to our wet setup following lessons learnt in pre-season testing which have certainly worked. It’s a shame that we can’t finish qualifying today, but it’s absolutely the correct decision; it was too wet. What are the particular considerations for running qualifying and the race in one day? It doesn’t change things too much if everything goes well in qualifying, but if there is a lot of work to do on the car between qualifying and the race then it’s going to be a busy day. What are your thoughts in terms of strategy for tomorrow? In terms of the weather it looks like tomorrow should be dry, in which case the supersoft is the faster qualifying tyre. That means the top ten starting on the supersoft and working to maximise its potential at the start of the race on high fuel and a newly washed track surface. The medium compound will be the preferred race tyre. Are we feeling optimistic heading into the race? We’ve looked good come both wet and dry so far so there’s no reason to think otherwise.
  6. Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean enjoyed successful 2013 season debuts in the E21 during the first day of the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park. Kimi ended the second of two afternoon sessions with the fourth fastest time, whilst Romain was fifth quickest. The team evaluated a new front wing and floor as well as running through its familiar Friday programme of evaluations over the course of 102 trouble-free laps. Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes - We evaluated a new front wing on both cars - Kimi ran with a new floor in both sessions - Pirelli’s medium (white) compound tyre was used in the first session, the medium and supersoft (red) in the afternoon - The second session saw long runs on both tyre compounds - We evaluated revised exhaust outlets on both cars What we learned today: - The E21 ran reliably, providing good data for determining our set-up for tomorrow. Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03 Free practice 1: P6, 1:27.877, 17 laps Free practice 2: P4, 1:26.361, 38 laps Kimi: “It’s good for the season to start and the car felt pretty strong out there. I don’t think we’re the fastest but it’s a good start. It was nice to have a reliable day after spending some time in the garage during testing. The track was as I remembered it and there were no surprises from it or the car. We’ll have to see what happens tomorrow with qualifying as maybe it will be a bit cooler. I’m happy so far this weekend.” Romain Grosjean, E21-01 Free practice 1: P10, 1:28.520 15 laps Free practice 2: P5, 1:26.680, 32 laps Romain: “It feels great to be out on circuit and on such a lovely day too. The track felt good and the car felt better. It took a while for the grip to come to us, but you expect that on a street circuit. We made good progress with set-up on the car over both sessions and I think there’s more to come which is promising.” James Allison, Technical Director: “It’s been a steady start so far. The car has run reliably and reasonably quickly, but we feel there’s more to come from it. Broadly it’s been a successful day in terms of the programme we had in mind for these opening sessions, with both tyre compounds, our latest aero package and a few setup tweaks all given sufficient time for assessment. There’s still work to be done, but we’re certainly running with the leading group which bodes well for the rest of the weekend.”
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