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Found 11 results

  1. Lotus F1® Team driver Romain Grosjean, drives the team into its first points finish of the 2014 F1® season, whilst teammate Pastor Maldonado climbs 7 places up the grid, to finish in P15. Celebrating his 50th Grand Prix race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Cataluñya, for the Spanish Grand Prix, Lotus F1® Team driver, Romain Grosjean claimed vital first season points which had previously eluded the Lotus F1® Team. A superb, yet taut qualifying saw the Frenchman begin from P5, the highest grand prix start of the season, whereas stablemate Pastor Maldonado kept his head up, disappointed at having to start from the back of the pack in P22, thanks to a run-off in Q1. During the 66-laps of the race however, both drivers delivered for the team. Romain held onto his P5 slot for as long as possible keeping his adversaries in his rear view. Power unit issues mid-race however meant he slipped from P5 but still maintained a top ten position to finally take the flag in P8. Pastor on the other hand was consistently climbing but unfortunately got slapped early on with a 5-second stop/go penalty. Never-the-less he recovered quickly to advance some 7 places, coming home in P15. Romain Grosjean P8 E22-03: “It’s been a tough battle for us to get points this season and that was certainly one of the hardest races I’ve contested in a long time. I did everything I could to drive around the power unit issues, which really made things difficult when battling the other cars. It’s good for all the crew at the track and at Enstone to finally get a reward for all their hard work. There are still a lot of areas where we can improve and certainly the car wasn’t as quick today as it was yesterday, with the different track conditions as well as the other issue. It’s Mothers’ Day in Switzerland so this one’s for my mum!" Pastor Maldonado P15 E22-01: “We made a step forward in terms of pace with the car this weekend, it was much more competitive than 15th but the lack of top speed meant we weren’t able to attack even if we had a quicker car than others around us. We need to keep working on that and to be faster on the straights. Today’s result is a bit disappointing but my race had been already compromised by starting at the back the grid. At least we saw the chequered flag and collected more data for the team to keep on developing the car." Frederico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "We are very pleased for the team and for Romain to have scored our first points today. It’s certainly been a long road to get to this place. It’s not all a sweet taste as we were expecting to have finished further up the grid. We had some issues with the power unit again so we need to keep working with Renault Sport F1 to ensure we can keep fighting for as many points as possible. We have two days of testing coming up and our target is to carry on making improvements in performance and reliability.” Now as we continue into the European leg of the season, the team prepare for the following round of the competition that takes place in Monaco on the 25th May 2014.
  2. Mark H

    Barcelona Friday

    Kimi Räikkönen went fourth fastest at the Circuit de Catalunya on the opening day of action for the Spanish Grand Prix. Kimi set a 1min 23.030secs lap on medium compound tyres in the dry afternoon session. In the changeable conditions of the morning session Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest, but a cracked exhaust precluded him from setting a representative lap on the quicker medium tyres in the afternoon. Technical programme notes: Both drivers ran with new front and rear wing specifications today. Romain also ran with the older specification front wing for evaluation purposes Kimi evaluated new rear suspension components Pirelli’s intermediate wet tyre (green) and hard compound dry tyre (orange) were used in the morning session, the hard and medium dry tyres (white) in the afternoon What we learned today: The latest front and rear wings work well We are analysing the data from the new rear suspension components The E21 looks good on both dry tyre compounds Changes to improve the E21’s wet weather performance look to be beneficial Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03 Free Practice 1: P8, 1:26.614, 21 laps Free Practice 2: P4, 1:23.030, 32 laps Kimi: "It was a pretty normal Friday. We tried some things on the car, ran with some different tyres and we’ll have a look at all the data to see where we think we are. We finished the day not too far off the fastest time, so we can say that the day wasn’t a disaster, but for sure there are some things we have to improve with the car which is normal after the first day’s running." Romain Grosjean, E21-02 Free Practice 1: P4, 1:26.042, 21 laps Free Practice 2: P18, 1:25.851, 36 laps Romain: "Today was okay. It may not look great on the timesheets, but we didn’t finish our lap on the medium tyres as I had to come back in. The circuit isn’t an easy one to understand in terms of tyre performance as there is a lot of degradation, and of course this morning the weather conditions made things a bit difficult. We completed a good number of laps to collect as much data as possible, so we’ll be working on the set-up this evening where we should be able to take some steps forwards." Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We’re pretty happy with today’s performance. Romain’s position in the afternoon session is not representative of his potential as a cracked exhaust cost him performance for his run on the softer tyre, but other than that he’s comfortable with how his car is performing. Kimi was happy with the handling and balance of his car and that’s reflected in his pace. The morning rain was actually beneficial for us as it afforded an opportunity to run our latest developments aimed at addressing a relative lack of wet weather pace, and we’re happy with the progress made in this area.”
  3. Kimi Räikkönen returned to the cockpit of the E21 following yesterday’s absence through illness, only for the gearbox of his car to issue its own sick-note causing a lengthy interruption to running on the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. The E21 remained in the garage for much of the morning as the team diagnosed, rectified and replaced the gearbox for Kimi to run in the afternoon; the Finn eventually completing 50 laps and setting the fifth fastest time of the day. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Sunny, dry, ambient 6-18°C, track 8-26°C Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with updated aerodynamic package (including new front and rear wing evaluation), set-up changes Laps Completed: 50 Classification: P5, 1:21.568 Interruptions: Gearbox fault investigation and subsequent change What’s Next? We head to Melbourne for the first race of the season. Kimi Räikkönen: “I was sick yesterday and the car was sick this morning. It’s not what you want, but you go testing to find out if there are any problems with the car. For sure, we haven’t completed all the laps we wanted during pre-season, but that is often the case. We’ve found a few issues and we have solutions for them, which is positive. Personally, I felt much better today and I was fine driving. We ran through a lot of assessments this afternoon and the feeling in the team is that we have a strong basis to start the season; even if we haven’t shown that every day. I’m happy with the car and looking forward to going racing.” James Allison, Technical Director: “Today was something like this entire test in microcosm; we spent too much of the day in the garage, but when we did get out on track we made good progress. A definite positive is that we are not finding it difficult to be on the pace. Today’s gearbox problem was the same as we experienced previously but we’re confident we have a solution and are not concerned about it causing us any issues in Melbourne. We were able to confirm some aspects of the Melbourne aero package this afternoon and have some more new parts to be run in Australia. Overall we would have been happy with far more pre-season running, but we have not had any difficulties getting a good lap time out of the car without resorting to low fuel runs at any of the tests.” Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “Pre-season testing was not perfect for us but we are confident in what we have seen from the E21. We had glitches and we didn’t complete as many laps as we wanted, yet we still completed most of the assessments we required and have a good platform heading to the first race of the season. It was good to see Kimi back in the car today to take over from Davide and Romain’s work yesterday. It’s certain going to be a highly competitive season but I’m confident that we’ll be right in the battle at the front.”
  4. With scheduled driver Kimi Räikkönen sidelined through illness, Davide Valsecchi and Romain Grosjean both took turns in the E21 for today’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya. Vastly improved weather on day three in Barcelona meant that Davide made his E21 debut on a dry track, completing 16 laps of familiarisation and exhaust / aero assessments to set the eleventh quickest time of the day. After a brief stop-over in Paris, Romain returned to take over for the afternoon; completing 46 laps and ending the day with the tenth fastest time. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Sunny, dry, ambient 9-17°C, track 11-24°C Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package, new rear suspension set-up evaluation, new rear wing evaluation, driver orientation. Laps Completed: Romain: 46. Davide: 16. Total: 62 Classification: Romain: P10, 1:23.380. Davide: P11, 1:23.448 Interruptions: Red flags, altering car set-up for driver changes What’s Next? Provided he is fit to return to the cockpit, Kimi will take the wheel tomorrow for the final day of pre-season testing. Davide Valsecchi: “This morning was quite a rush to get everything ready as the call only came late, but the team were fantastic getting the car prepared for me. I only completed short runs today so I have a limited impression of the E21, however it’s clear that it’s a very good racing car. For me to be able to get immediately on the pace means that the car is certainly fast and competitive. It was a fantastic opportunity; I sat in the seat of a former World Champion so I knew that I’d be fast for sure.” Romain Grosjean: “I certainly didn’t expect to be in the E21 again today so it was an interruption to a day off, but as interruptions go it was a pretty good one! The weather was definitely an improvement from what I’ve experienced so far and I was able to assess the new rear front wings; both of which feel improved over the initial versions. We ran with high fuel today so it wasn’t about lap times in the afternoon, but it’s all valuable data we’re getting for the car. I hope that Kimi is feeling better for tomorrow, but I don’t mind driving again if I have to.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Obviously, our day was rather compromised because of Kimi being ill. We changed the car for Davide to gain valuable experience in the morning, then changed it over lunchtime to Romain’s settings. Despite the disrupted running, we still completed a Grand Prix distance worth of laps and were able to put valuable miles on our latest rear wing concept as well as evaluating a new front wing. Both look to be a step in the right direction so it’s likely we’ll use them in Australia. Davide did a great job at short notice and we know we can rely on him if he’s called upon again. If Kimi is well enough tomorrow, we will run him in the car, otherwise it will be Romain in action once more.”
  5. Romain Grosjean returned to the Circuit de Catalunya for another day of testing in cold and wet conditions in Barcelona. The team ran through a programme of assessments and correlations, including work on the DDRS Device. With the unfavourable track conditions, only short aerodynamic runs were conducted in the afternoon. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Cloudy, frequent showers, ambient 8-10°C, track 8-12°C Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package, DDRS Device correlation Laps Completed: 52 Classification: P11, 1:34.928 Interruptions: Red flags What’s Next? Romain returns to the E21 for his final day of pre-season testing tomorrow. Romain Grosjean: “Another day with bad weather in Barcelona is not what I wanted, but there’s nothing you can do about it. It was a bit of a frustrating day as we concentrated on aero runs and never went for a time on the drying track surface. The car feels good on both the intermediate and wet tyres and we’ve run through more of our pre-season test programme so those are positives. You never want to see yourself at the bottom of the timing screens, so hopefully that’s the only time it happens this season. We certainly know there’s more pace in the car than we saw today!” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Given the weather, this morning’s session concentrated on running assessments between the wet and intermediate tyres and we’re getting a much better idea of Pirelli’s 2013 wet tyres. In the afternoon we concentrated on assessing our rear wing DDRS Device. These conditions aren’t great as it’s difficult to run comparison tests with an ever changing track surface. Nevertheless, we’ve clocked up more laps on the E21, tried different settings and conducted numerous aero-runs. This meant that our lap time today was very far from what we’d expect had we conducted a more normal test programme.”
  6. Romain Grosjean endured a cold and wet final day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, collecting and correlating data whilst getting to grips with Pirelli’s latest wet weather tyres in the inclement Barcelona weather. Though no technical issues were encountered, a limited lap tally of 41 was the result of the day with the team not opting to set a representative lap time when the track was drier. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Cloudy, wet, grey, miserable, ambient 7-8°C, track 8-9°C Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package. Laps Completed: 41 Classification: P10, 1:34.800 Interruptions: Red flags, data collection device changes, tea breaks What’s Next? The team returns to the Circuit de Catalunya for the final four days of pre-season testing, starting on Thursday 28th February. Romain Grosjean: “I spent a lot of time in the car again today, but this time it was in the garage and not out on track. It was certainly cold and slippery out on the circuit and the conditions were worse than we would expect during the season. This at least meant it was a good test of the performance of the wet and intermediate tyres. I’m happy that we had no issues and the balance of the car is good in these conditions. I’m really looking forward to getting more laps in the car next week and seeing the latest upgrade package as I’m feeling very positive with everything I’ve seen so far.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Discretion was the better part of valour today and we took the opportunity to evaluate performance on the wet and intermediate tyres as well as running a collection of non-weather affected data correlation programmes. We were successful in both these objectives and are well placed heading into next week’s test back here. Romain reported the E21 to be a step forwards from its predecessor in terms of wet weather performance, which is another thing to be happy about. Being slowest of those who set times is not representative of where we are, as we didn’t run seriously when there were drier conditions. It’s nice to complete a test at a second circuit with only positive things to say about the car. We look forward to four more days testing here, starting next week when we will evaluate a package of new aero parts.”
  7. Romain Grosjean completed the first full race simulation for the E21 during the course of an uninterrupted and trouble free day’s running at Barcelona. The Frenchman completed a total of 119 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya; more than any other team today. During the course of set-up work in the morning, Romain also set the day’s third fastest time. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Cloudy, ambient 9-15°C, track 10-19°C Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package, race simulation Laps Completed: 119 Classification: P3, 1:22.188 Interruptions: None What’s Next? Romain will take the wheel of E21 chassis 02 for the final day of this week’s test tomorrow. Romain Grosjean: “I think I’m ready for a sleep after so many laps in the car! It’s good to see reliability today to add to the pace we’ve already seen in the car. We’re still at an early stage of development so it’s really promising to see where we are. It was difficult out on track as temperatures were so low, but we’ve gained a lot of useful data. The 2013 tyres certainly feel different from last year’s but already we’re starting to understand them. I hope it’s dry tomorrow so we can get some more laps under our belt.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “From our perspective it was a perfect day. We ticked off every item on the checklist and even had time to spare at the end of the session. That’s your target when you start a day’s testing but it’s seldom achieved, and after a couple of difficult days, it’s all the more satisfying. We completed a race distance simulation without any red flags or other stoppages, and that has helped us learn a lot more about Pirelli’s latest tyres. In the cold temperatures here, the tyres do look very difficult to manage, especially with high fuel loads in the car. However, as our ‘race’ progressed so tyre performance stabilised and we completed a 20-plus lap stint with consistent lap times. We still have plenty of work to do with set-up but we’re certainly making steps in the right direction.”
  8. Kimi Räikkönen concluded his second day of running at Barcelona with a gearbox problem keeping him off the track for much of the morning and part of the afternoon session at the Circuit de Catalunya. Whilst the team ultimately diagnosed and rectified the issue, vital running time was lost. Once Kimi did get out on track, he immediately set the third fastest lap time, which is where he ended the day. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Sunny, ambient 7-17°C, track 8-24°C Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package Laps Completed: 43 Classification: P3, 1:22.697 Interruptions: Gearbox problem diagnosis and replacement What’s Next? Romain will take the wheel of E21 chassis 02 for the next two days Kimi Räikkönen: “If yesterday wasn’t an ideal day then today was more of the same. Fortunately, once we were able to get a lap in we could see that the car has good pace. We test to find any problems so in that respect we’re doing a good job, but it’s frustrating. It’s no secret that we want to get more laps on the board and that’s the target for the rest of this test and the final sessions next week.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Our target was more laps today and we’ve missed that. We were able to diagnose a problem with the gearbox, but rectifying this took quite a lot of time. This severely affected our plans for the day but yet again we were able to show we have a quick car. On the positive side, there were no further problems with telemetry as we experienced yesterday and the second gearbox ran reliably in the afternoon. Tomorrow we will try to rack up the laps with evaluation work and a race distance simulation.”
  9. A stop-start opening session for Lotus F1 Team at the Circuit de Catalunya brought just a smattering of laps, but plenty of positives as Kimi opened the week with the second fastest time of the day in Barcelona. Technical Director James Allison gives us his view of proceedings: James, what’s the feedback from the opening day here in Barcelona? It was a bit of a frustrating day as we were confined to doing two lap runs by a telemetry system which would only work sporadically. Running what is effectively a brand new car for extended periods without regular feedback as to its condition is not a risk worth taking; especially at this early stage of the season when spare parts are at a premium. Putting that to one side, the favourable impression we received from the drivers in Jerez seems to have continued here which is certainly a positive. How much of an effect will today’s telemetry issue have on the schedule for the week? Without today’s telemetry fuss we would have completed a lot more laps, but it was never our intention to carry out extensively long stints during this first session. We have a full compliment of different tests to complete over the coming days from data logging to setup analysis and race simulations, so today will form a useful platform for the remainder of the week. We’re reverting to an alternative telemetry setup tomorrow, so hopefully that will allow us to rack up the miles. Obviously, we went to Jerez with the car in its very first iteration; will there be many changes here in Barcelona? Most alterations to the package will be run in anger during the second Barcelona test or at the first race in Melbourne. As with every season, this middle test is very much focused on assessing the fundamentals of the car – learning how it responds to setup changes, checking that temperatures and pressures are where they should be and so on – before bolting on any new parts. Although times mean relatively little during testing, it must be re-assuring to see the E21 sitting towards the sharp end despite limited running here today? At each test we go to, it’s always nice to see the car responding well and looking well placed on the leader board. The E21 behaved itself reasonably well in Jerez and – much like its predecessor – seems to be doing the same here so it’s an encouraging start.
  10. Kimi Räikkönen conducted the first day of running for E21 chassis #2 in Barcelona, completing 44 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya. Though Kimi completed the fewest laps of any driver today, he was nevertheless the second fastest for most of the day, including at the end of the afternoon session. Telemetry data-logging issues meant the team completed fewer laps than desired, but nevertheless concluded a productive day of assessment of the second E21. Fast Facts: Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km Chassis: E21-02 Weather: Sunny, ambient 10-16°C, track 11-22°C Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package Laps Completed: 44 Classification: P2, 1:22.623 Interruptions: Red flags, data-logging diagnostics What’s Next? Kimi will drive tomorrow with the team targeting a greater haul of laps. Kimi Räikkönen: “It wasn’t an ideal day in terms of the number of laps we completed, but the car feels strong and we’ve made some good progress. After Jerez it’s nice to be at a circuit where we race and the E21 is definitely a step in the right direction. There’s lots of work yet to do this week but I’m happy with where we are at the moment.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It’s been a positive debut for the second chassis here in Barcelona. Kimi was happy with where the car started the day, and the setup changes we’ve made have been positive. We had a few issues on the electronics side with the telemetry data-logging and this has cost us track time as well as the ability to conduct longer runs. Other than that, we’ve been able to take over from where we left off in Jerez so we’re happy with that. All we need is more laps, which is our focus for tomorrow.”
  11. Heading into the second of three pre-season tests, Lotus F1 Team Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane gives an insight into why we go testing and what we want to achieve from it. How are we tackling the first of the Barcelona tests? In Barcelona we hope to pack in a number of long runs to get a much more detailed understanding of the tyres at a race circuit used during the season. We also aim to complete some full race distance simulations complete with pit stops, tyre changes and the car in action for a full complement of race laps; even down to formation laps and a simulated race start. We’ll do more performance work with the car, and the race distance simulations will put everything through some good reliability testing. Where’s the team at following the first test of the year? We’re happy with what was achieved at the first test. Ideally, we’d have liked to have completed more laps and more long runs, but the way the week shook out that didn’t happen. Jerez represented our first run in the E21 so you want to concentrate on two aspects; the new car itself and the new Pirelli tyres. However, the circuit surface is not ideally suited for assessing tyres as it’s particularly aggressive, so it’s still early days in learning how they perform. Jerez does give the benefit of reliably good weather – it’s about the best place in Europe at this time of year – meaning no interruptions to track time because of any inclemency. Ultimately, we achieved a decent mileage and have a good idea of the E21’s performance as well as an initial idea of tyre performance. When we’re testing, how is the focus split between evaluating new parts and refining the set-up of the car? Both go hand in hand to an extent. The first Barcelona test is largely concerned with improving the car from the initial lessons learnt in Jerez, so we’ve worked on anything which didn’t quite operate as expected or any components which need beefing up. This means there are minor updates to make the car more robust and raceworthy, which can be done in conjunction with performance work. Many of the updated parts are not necessarily performance parts, but more concerned with reliability, so a performance assessment can be conducted in parallel. What happens at the second Barcelona test? Some more of the same, but we’ll have aerodynamic updates such as a new front wing, a new floor, a new rear wing and most of the Melbourne package to evaluate. This means performance is more the focus. That said, even when we’re focused on performance testing, reliability evaluation is a welcome by-product whenever we run the car. If everything goes to plan, how well should we know the E21 and the 2013 tyres by the end of testing? We’ll still be in the early stages of the learning curve; particularly with regards to tyre performance. The track and ambient temperatures in Barcelona are likely to be well below what we could expect to see in Melbourne and particularly Sepang. In Barcelona we could have 20-25°C, whereas in Sepang it could be 45°C or even higher and track temperature has a significant impact on how a tyre performs. We do get an idea of our tyre wear – including where it sits relative to the average of all the teams – in the temperature conditions we test in, and we attempt to extrapolate this to the warmer temperatures and different track surfaces we will encounter at the first races. We’ll have an idea of how the tyres have reacted in previous years at the test then at the first races, which will give us a framework of consideration. All that said, the first races are still very much part of the learning process for all of the teams and that often helps to make them some of the most exciting for those watching. We hope that we’re at the forefront of that excitement.
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