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  1. Lotus F1 Team fought a tough Singapore Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado finishing twelfth and Romain Grosjean classified thirteenth. Lotus F1 Team fought a tough Singapore Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado finishing twelfth and Romain Grosjean classified thirteenth. Romain was able to feature strongly in the top ten for much of the race, but diminishing tyre performance late on meant a better finish was not possible. Pastor sustained damage to his car after contact from Jenson Button’s car which blunted his late-race performance. Romain started from P10 on the grid on his qualifying super soft tyres. He changed to scrubbed softs on lap 9 and new softs on lap 26. Pastor started from P18 on new super soft tyres, changing to new super softs on lap 10, new softs on lap 27 and new super softs on lap 54. Romain Grosjean, P13, E23-04 “We had an aggressive strategy planned for today, which looked good since we were as high as P8 at one point but the first virtual safety car cost us dearly. I lost a lot of places on the first lap, there was quite a lot of sliding going on and, as we knew this wouldn’t be a great track for us – like Hungary and Monaco – we knew it would be difficult. There was nothing left in the tyres towards the end of the race and as soon as we were out of the points, we chose to retire the car as we had some concerns with the gearbox and didn’t want to risk a penalty in Japan.” Pastor Maldonado, P12, E23-03 “It was a really difficult race. The contact from the McLaren was small but enough to break my diffuser. I was defending on the inside and I don’t know where Jenson wanted to overtake me. It’s a very narrow corner where it happened and there was no chance for him to overtake. The damage meant we lost performance at the rear at the time in the race when we wanted to preserve tyre life. Sadly it wasn’t possible to maintain the pace and the tyres so we had to make an additional, unplanned stop.” Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal "We scored no points today but we certainly fought hard. It’s a long, hot and humid race so thanks to Pastor and Romain for pushing to the maximum for every lap. Everyone in the team has been working hard all week so it’s frustrating for all of us when we fall short of the points. We’re certainly focused on a better result in Japan.” Nick Chester, Technical Director "That was a long tough race for us. Romain lost positions at the start so we brought forward his stops to undercut and gain track position. Unfortunately this meant we missed out on a quick pit stop under the virtual safety car at the first stop. We suffered worse tyre degradation than expected on Romain's final stint which cost us in the last few laps. Pastor made up positions from his start but was compromised later on after the damage sustained from Jenson. We are now looking forward to Suzuka."
  2. Pastor Maldonado finished twelfth with Romain Grosjean directly behind him in thirteenth after a full and eventful Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The race – which featured a safety car period – ended due to the time limit being reached rather than completing the allotted number of laps. Romain started from P16 on new super soft compound tyres, changing to scrubbed super softs on laps 10 and 22, then new softs on lap 30. Pastor started from P18 on new super soft compound tyres, pitting on lap 11 for a set of new super soft tyres, then on laps 23 and 30 for sets of scrubbed super soft tyres. He made a final stop for a set of new soft tyres on lap 31. Romain Grosjean, P13, E22-03 “It was hot out there; things were looking pretty alright until the safety car, we were fighting for points. Unfortunately, I tried to attack too hard on the restart. I wanted to give it everything and with cold soft tyres after a slow safety car period, it was just too much once at the corner. From then on, I couldn’t pass back up through the field to get points.” Pastor Maldonado, P12, E22-02 “We got the maximum out of our performance today and we had a strong consistent race. I’m pretty happy about this after the issues we had earlier in the weekend. I pitted once more than the others during the safety car period but it didn’t affect my position. It was a tough race, especially the last ten laps where the tyres needed a lot of managing, but I think we were able to do a great race today.” Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal "We were very close to scoring points with Pastor and Romain today. Unfortunately we couldn’t convert the potential into reality in the end but the team did a great job to get both cars to finish the race after the difficulties that we had through the course of the weekend. So I’m happy. Not rock and roll, but happy.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director "Unfortunately we didn’t have the pace to challenge for points today but we were very close, closer than we have been for a long time. The safety car period obviously influenced our race strategy so it’s hard to say what the maximum could have been were it not for that. We’re pleased with the improvement of the E22 which we hope to be able to harness in the next races.” Simon Rebreyend, Renault Sport F1 track support leader “After the disappointment of yesterday, the Power Unit performed well today, with no issues at all, which is the minimum requirement for every weekend. The drivers were therefore able to show a much more representative pace in the race and could race the Saubers, Force Indias and Toro Rossos. This is much more where we should be and gives confidence for the next race in Suzuka.”
  3. Marking a new phase of development to the Lotus operation in Singapore, Lotus is pleased to welcome new partner Richburg Motors Singapore. We are very pleased to announce the official opening of the new Lotus Flagship Showroom in Singapore, strategically located right in the heart of the city. In conjunction with the opening, Lotus also unveiled the Exige S, Elise and Evora to the Singaporean public. The 4,400 sq ft Showroom was officiated by the Chairman of Group Lotus , YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, who was accompanied by the Chairman of Richburg Motors Singapore, Mr Eric Wong. Also present at the event were His Excellency Mr Antony Phillipson, the British High Commissioner to Singapore and YBhg Dato' Lukman Ibrahim, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Proton. Lotus Singapore will operate in partnership with Richburg Motors, who also represent Lotus in Hong Kong, allowing opportunity for a synergy between the two markets. According to Tan Sri Haji Mohd Khamil, the launch of the Flagship Showroom in Singapore affirms the DRB-HICOM Group's commitment to revive and strengthen the Lotus brand, not just globally, but in particular in the ASEAN region. "I am confident that our partnership with Richburg Motors - who is already a well-established player in the Hong Kong market, will ensure the growth of Lotus here in Singapore," he said. “Singapore is a highly challenging and fascinating market place with all kinds of luxury and sports cars, hence we must be competitive. The Lotus range, now completed by the Exige S and its Roadster variant, is perfect for sportscar enthusiasts and it is our hope that the people of Singapore will agree. What’s more, our links into Hong Kong and Singapore now mean we can work together to further strengthen the Lotus brand and expand our operation in the region.” Singapore is a key market for Lotus as it is widely recognised as the hub of the ASEAN region. Since 1998, the iconic Lotus brand had been carefully managed by long-term partners EuroSports who had provided customers in Singapore with the answers to all their Lotus desires. It is with fond memories and with sincere thanks that Lotus also announces the end of this partnership. Eric Wong of Richburg Motors is equally delighted to work with Lotus to help grow the brand in the region. “As a Lotus dealer in Hong Kong for eight years, it is my great pleasure to be appointed as the dealer for Lotus in Singapore. Lotus is more than roads and tracks, it is an icon and driving one reflects the person you are. Lotus is an athletic, sporting brand, it has heritage in competition, style, innovative and advanced engineering - it is something very special to be part of," he explained. “We are excited about Lotus’ growth in Singapore, we have a strong commitment to the brand and to the market. We pride ourselves on service and quality and we take every opportunity to demonstrate the unique excitement of the world of Lotus . We have set up a new service and pre-delivery centre to compliment our showroom, and look forward to welcoming customers of new and old Lotus cars whilst showcasing our exclusive service for this exclusive brand.” The Flagship Showroom will be displaying the best from Lotus : The award-winning Exige S embodies the Lotus philosophy of performance through lightweight and focussing on the ultimate dynamic drive experience, whilst the stunning Evora with IPS transmission delivers exotic looks and Lotus’ trademark handling in a refined package that makes it the perfect day-to-day sports car. But for some ‘fun on the side’ the Elise is the ideal second car, available with either a 1.6 or supercharged 1.8 litre engine, the Elise is a weekend joy ride or a track-day warrior; it is small, light and quick, delivering an agile and fun drive experience. Lotus and Richburg Motors also plan to build on the success of the operation in Hong Kong, using motorsport activities and driving events to promote the unique driving experience that the Lotus range offers and showing new customers why so many people around the world are proud to say ” I am Lotus!” As a start, Lotus and Richburg Motors also announced the launch of the Lotus Cup ASIAN Race series by Tan Sri Haji Mohd Khamil. Already present in the UK, Europe as well as the USA and Japan, the Lotus Cup is a factory supported, single marque competition for Lotus owners who dream of exploiting the full potential of their rides at the world's best racing grounds. The Lotus Cup ASIAN Race Series will begin at the Macau Grand Prix in November.
  4. Romain Grosjean qualified in third position at the Marina Bay Street Circuit as Kimi Räikkönen pushed through the pain barrier to take thirteenth on tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix grid. Romain equalled his season-best qualifying position from the Hungarian Grand Prix of P3 with a lap time of 1min 43.058secs, leaving only the Red Bull of championship leader Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg ahead of him. Kimi suffered from back aggravations in today’s practice session and participated in qualifying after attention from physiotherapists. Kimi Räikkönen, E21-05. Q: P13, 1:44.658. FP3: P12, 1:46.147 Unfortunately today didn’t go to plan as the issue with my back meant I couldn’t really drive properly this morning, so we didn’t get everything done like we wanted in the practice session. It’s still quite painful and there wasn’t much more I could do in qualifying when you take that combination of things into account. It’s not the first time I’ve driven with a problem and it probably won’t be the last time either, but I’ll be on the grid tomorrow and we’ll try to get the maximum from where we are at the start. Romain Grosjean, E21-04. Q: P3, 1:43.058. FP3: P2, 1:44.364 After all the issues we had yesterday the team did a fantastic job to get the car running well and also to find a good setup despite having done so few laps. The car felt good all day; enough that we were confident in taking a risk during Q1 by not running the option tyres. It was a great strategy call that really paid off, and I think with a little more luck on the out lap we could maybe even have been one place higher. Sebastian [Vettel] looks to have a pretty clear advantage, but we’ve got lots of fresh tyres for tomorrow so a podium is definitely the target. Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: How was qualifying for the team? We have mixed feelings today. It’s unfortunate that Kimi had a problem with his back which caused him quite a bit of pain and affected his performance, whilst Romain enjoyed a pretty much perfect day after all the car troubles he had yesterday. FP3 went well for him, then qualifying went completely to plan. We’re very happy with third on the grid and looking forward to a strong race tomorrow. What’s changed with the car to make it qualify better here? We knew the last two races would be difficult for our car and so they proved to be, but we were expecting better performance once we got to the higher downforce tracks such as Singapore and this has also transpired. What are the strategic permutations tomorrow? Our long run pace was very good yesterday with Kimi second on pace only to the Red Bulls. Sebastian [Vettel] will be hard to beat as he’s in very good form, but there’s no reason why a podium for Romain is not possible and we have seen some storming drives through the field from Kimi in the past too. We could be in for an exciting and rewarding race.
  5. Romain Grosjean ended the first evening of practice for the Singapore Grand Prix with the fifth fastest lap – despite missing considerable amounts of track time – whilst Kimi Räikkönen set the fifth fastest time in the first session and eighth quickest in the second. A mere thousandth of a second separated Kimi and Romain after their first outing on the Marina Bay Circuit. The sessions were characterised by hot and humid conditions with a distinct lack of sunlight given the evening timetable in Singapore. Technical programme notes: Both cars ran with the original length wheelbase configuration E21 in the latest slimline bodywork specification. Romain’s car spent additional time in the garage in the first session, as work was undertaken on steering rack balancing. Both cars changed brake cooling packages for the second session. Romain’s car spent additional time in the garage at the start of FP2 due to a suspected brake master cylinder issue and then ended the session early due to a hydraulic leak. Pirelli’s medium [white] tyre was used in the morning, with the medium and super soft [red] compound slick tyres used in the afternoon session. What we learned today: The E21 demonstrated strong potential using both tyre compounds. Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03 Free practice 1: P5, 1:48.354, 18 laps Free practice 2: P8, 1:45.778, 32 laps “It was a pretty decent day. The car felt okay, but I had some traffic on my fast lap on the softer tyres so I wasn’t able to set a faster lap. The car isn’t too bad and there are still some places where we can make it faster. The times don’t matter on Friday so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.” Romain Grosjean, E21-02 Free practice 1: P6, 1:48.355, 12 laps Free practice 2: P5, 1:45.411, 18 laps “We had a lot of problems today with the car which meant I didn’t complete many laps. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but nevertheless the baseline we have here is pretty good. Hopefully we can get on top of the issues we had and have a strong car for qualifying as track position is pretty important here. Tyre degradation was better than we expected with the super soft performing well, so we’ll have to look closely at the data for the rest of the weekend.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was quite a difficult day for us today with Romain missing a reasonable amount of running in his car, but he made the laps he did complete really count. He seemed to get to grips with his car and the track very well considering the circumstances. The E21 looks reasonably competitive with both drivers pretty happy. We need to dial out some understeer on Kimi’s car and once Romain has some more track time we should be well placed for the rest of the weekend.”
  6. Lotus GP secured the GP3 team’s championship for the third year running when Daniel Abt took victory in race one at the season finale at the Monza circuit in Italy this weekend. Together with Conor Daly’s points for fourth place in race one, the team wrapped up the team’s title with one race to spare! After qualifying 8th on the grid for race one, Daniel Abt was aiming high with his second win in seven days firmly within his sights. After making yet another of his lightning fast starts where he moved from P3 and then to P1 just a few laps later, his aim was realized and he had set the scene for a thrilling fight to the finish for the drivers crown. Teammate Aaro Vainio, who started 13th on the grid, drove brilliantly to finish third, however, he was later penalized for ignoring yellow flags. The twenty seconds added to his race time saw third place and his dreams of winning the championship disappear. Conor Daly, who started ninth on the grid, also drove a strong race to cross the line in fourth place overall. Race two and Daniel was in the fight for championship honors, however if he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Valtteri Bottas and make it into the GP3 series Hall of Fame, he needed to win the second race while his rival failed to score. Excitement prevailed as he sliced his way through the field from eighth to fourth to second while his rival encountered one problem after the other. With two laps to go, he was leading the race and his rival was out of the points in 20th place, the crown was his, however, with his tyres fading fast, a late charge from another driver snatched the lead and crown out of his hands. Conor Daly and Aaro Vainio finished race two in 11th and 14th places respectively. This round marked the end of yet another thrilling GP3 Championship season. Lotus GP now looks forward to defending their crown for the fourth year running in what is expected to be yet another challenging and hard fought season. Daniel Abt: “I'm at a loss for words to describe the feelings I went through this weekend. First things first, a big thank you to Lotus GP for this incredible season. It's not only the win and the title hunt that was magnificent on Saturday, but the way we did it. I had my share of bad luck at the beginning of the season and to secure two wins in a row was the best way to be paid back. It was a dream scenario in race 2 when I took P1. I fought hard to keep it and we had a great battle together with Ellinas, with a lot of overtaking manoeuvres, but I struggled a lot with my tyres in the last four laps. Well, I missed out the championship by two points but we have to see it in a positive way. I am the best rookie of the season, Lotus and I did had a fantastic relationship and I've shown what I'm capable of. It will take time to sink in but I honestly think we can be proud of what we achieved. Again, thank you all!” Aaro Vainio: "This is obviously not the end to the season that I expected. I arrived at Monza with a real chance for the drivers' title, and even though I was not successful in qualifying, everything was still possible. Lotus GP prepared a perfect race car for me on Saturday and I gave it everything. I worked my way up to third place after an action packed and fun race. Unfortunately, the stewards felt that I had made a mistake in the final corner of the final lap, where there was a yellow flag. The team and I both know that I complied with the yellow flag, as the data telemetry proved. That was it, and so I made the most of Sunday's race, to end the year. I made a good recovery but it was not enough to take 3rd place in the championship. I want to thank Lotus GP because this season has been really rich in both learning and emotion. Thank you also to my sponsors and all those who have supported me this year!" Conor Daly: “It wasn't the way I would have liked to finish the season. I think we had a fantastic race car in race one, the balance was very good and at one point we were close to a Lotus GP 1,2 and 3. Unfortunately contact with another driver damaged the car and we had to settle for 4th. I had another good start in race two but unfortunately went too deep into the parabolica passing for 3rd on lap one and after getting back on track my race was pretty much over. I had a great time working with the team all season and they gave me awesome opportunities to run at the front. We had a lot of bad luck this year with several different things and I also made some mistakes, but to come out of my second season in Europe with a win and several podiums is a nice feeling.” Frédéric Vasseur: “We are the team’s champion for the third time in a row and we can only be happy to make history in this fantastic championship. The downside is Daniel deserved the title and I'm a bit sad for him and for the team because the team effort was splendid. Daniel was just brilliant during the whole weekend, he's smart, fast and talented and I'm sure he has a great career ahead of him. Aaro and Conor were fast and dedicated but they did not grab a few opportunities and you always learn the hard way in a series which is so competitive and complex. Lastly, I want to thank and to congratulate all the team members for their hard work and dedication, our sponsors for a great season. 2013 can come!”
  7. Singapore played host to the 2012 GP2 Championship season finale and despite the best efforts of team and drivers, Lotus narrowly missed out on taking the team’s championship title. Going into the final race on Sunday Lotus GP was just two points away from the lead, however, a second placed finish from Esteban Gutierrez was not quite enough to get the job done. Qualifying third on the grid in a shortened session and finishing a brilliant second in race one and securing his seventh podium finish of the season, Esteban was confident of a strong result in the final race of the season. However, try as hard as he might, he was unable to get past the new 2012 champion, Davide Valsecchi, and crossed the line in sixth place. This finish saw the Mexican racer secure his goal of finishing on the drivers’ championship podium (third). Teammate James Calado was suffering from food poisoning in race one that resulted in a visit to the hospital later in the day, had a tough weekend. Despite a brilliant drive on day two, while still suffering the effects from the day before as well as starting from the back of the grid drove to tenth place at the finish, but his gallant efforts didn’t reward the team with the much deserved points needed to take the coveted 2012 teams championship crown. James finished the season on the fourth rung of the drivers’ championship. This was an extremely complex season for Lotus GP where they had to come to grips with new rules and using two different tire specifications, but as underlined by the final race of the season, where Gutierrez completed the entire race on super soft rubber, the lessons and data collected throughout the year will be put to good use in 2013. Esteban Gutierrez: “I'm delighted to secure a 7th podium and a great deal of points as it was a challenging weekend. Between it being a track we did not know and the rain in practice, we had to go straight in qualifying without knowing where we were set-up wise. It was a bit of a gamble but Lotus GP handled the situation perfectly once again. After a strong strategy that put me in second position, I stayed close to Max Chilton waiting for the opportunity to get past him, but at the same time my priority was to consolidate a good result as my first aim was third position in the championship. This has been the most rewarding season of my career, despite the fact I did not win the title, because this series is extremely competitive and I experienced many ups and downs. But that's what makes you a better driver and stronger driver. Many thanks to all the members of Lotus GP who helped me a lot this year just like they did since we started working together for what has been a fruitful and precious collaboration.” James Calado: “It was certainly not the ideal way to end the championship as I suffered from food poisoning and went to the hospital before the first race to have some fluids. I was so weak that I couldn’t take anymore and I had to throw in the towel after a few interesting battles. It would have been good to get into the points to help Lotus GP lift the team's title but that was just not possible. Towards the end of the sprint race I was struggling with tyre degradation on the super softs but, all things considered, 10th was OK although I lost the chance to be on the podium of the championship.” Frédéric Vasseur: “Lotus GP missed the title, but not by much. James’s deception is shared. Considering his inspirational driving and ability to excel, the end of the story would have been different without his food poisoning. It was one of Esteban’s best weekends and victory was certainly within his reach, but for various reasons he could not grab it. It is always important to finish the season on a high note and Lotus GP can be proud of its achievements in Singapore and throughout the entire season. We will learn from some weekends that were costly to us in order to prepare for next year where our goal is to re-register our name in the history of the GP2 Series.”
  8. Kimi Räikkönen fought back from twelfth on the grid to maintain his third position in the Drivers’ Championship with a battling sixth place in the Singapore Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean finished close behind in seventh after a gruelling race with two safety car periods and a number of retirements. The team remains fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, 95 points ahead of Mercedes in fifth and 14 behind Ferrari in third. Both drivers started on Pirelli’s super soft compound. Kimi pitted for his first set of soft compound tyres on lap 13, and his second set of softs just as the first safety car came out on lap 32. Romain ptted for soft compound tyres on lap 14, and for his second set of softs under safety car conditions on lap 33. Kimi Räikkönen, P6, E20-05 After the result in qualifying today’s race was not too bad, but I think we had a chance to do a bit better. We weren’t quick enough to be fighting for the podium but the first safety car didn’t help us and maybe we could have gained an extra place without that. We were definitely faster than Michael [schumacher] and Nico [Rosberg] but we ended up stuck behind them for most of the race which was frustrating. It’s so hard to overtake here that you have to rely on passing people in the pit stops or on someone making a mistake. I’m still third in the Drivers’ Championship but we’ve got some improvements to make for the next races to be fighting with the cars in front. Hopefully we can make a step forward in Japan and take it from there. Romain Grosjean P7, E20-03 It was a tough race but not a bad result in the end. I made a good start, managed to hold position when things got quite close through the first few corners and the car felt pretty good throughout. Our performance was much better than what we would have expected at the start of the weekend. Of course, I dropped a position to Kimi as well ; he was quicker than me towards the end of the race and there was no sense in holding him up. It’s never easy as a driver to let someone past – even if it is your team-mate – but we need to be intelligent in these circumstances. My target is to be as close to Kimi as I can in terms of pace and we achieved that today, so after a difficult start to the weekend I think we can be pleased with this result. Eric Boullier, Team Principal We had a difficult start to the weekend but the team did a good job to recover. Qualifying was frustrating after both cars showed strong pace in Q1 and the first part of Q2 but ultimately fell short of what we were hoping for in the end. The race pace from both cars was good and although we were unlucky with the first safety car our strategy worked well. After a difficult weekend for us Kimi is still third in the Drivers’ Championship and we have not lost too much ground to McLaren and Red Bull in the Constructors’ standings so that is a big positive. The fact that we feel our lack of performance here was quite unexpected shows our ambition and our priority for the rest of the season will be to make sure we’re in the sort of positions we know we can achieve right from the start of each weekend. Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director It hasn’t been a great weekend for us, so to salvage sixth and seventh is something of a result in the circumstances. We took a gamble with Kimi’s second stop, but he was caught by the safety car coming out as he left the pit lane. We certainly didn’t have the pace to challenge the front runners today and after a difficult qualifying session it was difficult to get through the field. It’s clear we need to do a better job in qualifying to enable us to achieve better race results. Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader A dramatic race that was quite difficult to manage on the engine side due to the two safety car periods. We had to play with the engine mixes a lot throughout the race to correct the fuel level and avoid finishing with too much. Both drivers did a good job to avoid the incidents on track and get a double points finish, which based on our grid position and overall performance this weekend is a very positive result. We are looking forward to Suzuka now, which should suit our car better.
  9. Romain Grosjean will start the Singapore Grand Prix from P8 on the grid, whilst Kimi Räikkönen will be in twelfth position after a hot and sticky qualifying session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The grid results mask significant improvements found in the E20 overnight, illustrated by Romain setting the fastest time in Q1 and the fourth fastest time in Q2. Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05. Q : P12, 1:48.261. FP3 : P5, 1:48.865 “The car was much better overall today than it was yesterday. We were quick with the used tyres but for some reason struggled for grip with the new ones in the second session and we were actually slightly slower. For sure P12 is not the position we wanted ; we don’t seem to have the speed to challenge the leaders here but the car is definitely quicker than that. We’ll see what we can do in the race.” Romain Grosjean, E20-03. Q : P8, 1:47.788. FP3 : P15 1:50.840 “The result is not as good as we wanted, but this is a very hard track to get right and we’ve been struggling for ultimate grip throughout this weekend so far, so overall it was good to be in Q3. After Q1 and Q2 we felt positive but it didn’t quite come together in the final session. I pushed a little bit too hard on my last lap ; it felt good in the car, but it wasn’t good for my lap time and there was one moment where I lost most quite a lot of time. It was pretty close but I don’t think I touched the wall ; I’ll have to check to see if the Pirelli tyre markings are still there !” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director : “We’d found a lot of improvements in the car so we’re disappointed with qualifying.” How do you assess today’s qualifying performance ? “We’re disappointed with qualifying as we were hoping for a lot better than we achieved. We improved the car dramatically overnight and through today’s practice session. Romain was two tenths slower in Q3 than he had been in Q2, but we could all see where most of that time was lost on his lap. Kimi was slower on a fresh set of tyres than he was on a scrubbed set, but it’s not immediately apparent why this was the case. He looked in excellent shape with his scrubbed run.” The car seemed to be better than yesterday – why was this ? “We found a much better setup in our analysis overnight and we continued in that direction through FP3, steadily improving the car with a further step made going into qualifying. Both drivers were pretty happy with the car at the end of practice today.” How do the different tyre compounds perform here ? “The super soft compound is a lot faster than the soft tyre and it will need a big difference in degradation for the soft to be the preferred option in the race.”
  10. Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean took to the streets of Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first practice sessions of the Singapore Grand Prix. The first session, held between 18:00 and 19:30 local time, started wet with the track drying over the duration. The second session, from 21:30 to 23:00, was dry throughout. Kimi ended the day with the twelfth fastest time ; Romain with the tenth. Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes A wet start to the first session meant we only ran with our updated rear wing at the end of proceedings on Kimi’s car. Pirelli’s wet, intermediate and soft compound tyres were used by both cars in FP1. Pirelli’s soft and super soft tyres were used in the drier second session. What we learned today : We didn’t gain sufficient data in the first session to run with the new rear wing for the rest of the day. There is quite a bit of difference in single lap pace between the two tyre compounds. Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05 Free practice 1 : P12, 1:52.716, 16 laps Free practice 2 : P12, 1:50.345, 24 laps Kimi : “It wasn’t the easiest of days for us today. We don’t have enough grip for some reason, and we seem to be lacking downforce. It’s the same on both tyres ; a little bit better when the tyres are new, but still not quite the pace we want. I think we can improve for tomorrow but we have to find two seconds to get to the front. I don’t think we’ll find that much time ; but I think we should improve from Friday as we usually do.” Romain Grosjean, E20-03 Free practice 1 : P15, 1:53.028, 20 laps Free practice 2 : P10, 1:50.161, 24 laps Romain : “It feels good to be back on track. Our position on the time sheets in the morning was not what we’d have liked and even after FP2 we know there is more performance to be found. The car is basically the same as what we ran in Monaco and Budapest where we were very competitive but we’ve struggled a bit for grip today. The good thing is we understand what we need to do, the team has been working hard to make improvements and I’m sure we’ll be stronger tomorrow.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director : “We didn’t learn too much in the first session, but we did get some quick laps on the intermediate tyres. In the second session we evaluated the two tyre compounds, completing long runs on both. There’s quite a bit of single lap pace difference between the two of them. It’s fairly clear which tyre will be the preferred one for qualifying but not so clear at the moment which tyre is the better prospect for the race. We’ll be looking closely at lap times and degradation levels overnight.”
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