The first day of testing at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy was soaking wet and the Lotus F1 Team had to contend with just the morning session of testing. Lotus F1 Team’s third driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio was at the wheel of the E20 for the first time. While initially it was announced that Raikkonen would drive on the second day and Grosjean on the third, the conditions on the first day dictated that Grosjean drive both days.
“The mixed conditions, running intermediates to start and then switching to the medium compound slicks, also gives us a good base line for Romain over the next two days. We’ve opted for one driver for the next two days so we can make better use of the time after losing this afternoon’s running.” said Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director.
“We had a busy programme lined up for Jérôme including a fair amount of aerodynamic work, sensor measurement work and of course preparing foundations for Romain over the next two days. ” said James Allison, Technical Director.
The second day of testing saw no rains and Grosjean emerged fastest at the end of the day. The Aerodynamic work, setup work, high and medium fuel runs were the tasks of the day.
“It’s always good to end the day on top, but we have to remember that in testing lap times mean very little. Having said that, the car felt great and I was very comfortable from the start. This test gives us an opportunity to try things that we wouldn’t have time to do during a race weekend, so hopefully it’ll help us to keep pushing forward.” said Romain Grosjean.
Alan Permane said the team was concentrating on different suspension setups, and they had a fairly major change over lunch which took a couple of hours. He concluded that the second day of testing was positive.
Romain Grosjean the fastest driver of the third day. His best lap of 1min 21.035secs was also the fastest time of the three day test. In addition to aerodynamic work and setup work, the team continued trying different suspension configurations.
“It was another nice day today so I have been lucky with the weather here. We continued to work on the car and have gained more valuable data. We made a big change to the car at lunchtime and everything went according to plan. Mugello puts high demands on the driver so it’s been a very good experience for me – and quite a workout! We were conducting a specific programme of evaluating components, so to be quick relative to our opposition even when we were not looking specifically to try to top the times is satisfying. I’m happy at the progress we’ve made here in Italy and looking forward to seeing how well this translates into lap time when we get to Barcelona.” said Romain Grosjean.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“After looking at the data from yesterday, we ran further back-to-back tests on our suspension configurations. Track conditions were better today as a result of yesterday’s running. We stopped early for lunch so that we could change the suspension and be out running straight away in the afternoon session. In the afternoon we also assessed some new floor updates applicable for Barcelona, as well as a rear suspension update fitted late in the day. After the rain on the first day, it’s been a valuable two dry days of testing. Mugello is quite hard on the tyres; not in terms of degradation, but through the high speed loadings generating heat. This has taught us some interesting lessons applicable to the rest of the season. Mugello is also an excellent circuit for doing aerodynamic evaluation, so it has been time well spent here.”