Lotus: Malaysian Grand Prix Friday report
23 March, 2012
Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean took to the track for the first practice sessions of the second round of the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship at Sepang in hot and humid conditions today.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes
- In FP1 we completed general set-up work followed by race set-up work in FP2.
- We ran solely with Pirelli’s hard compound in the first session.
- Kimi concentrated on the medium tyre in the afternoon session; Romain concentrated on the hard.
- This was a ‘standard’ Friday programme, distinct from the rain-interrupted first day in Melbourne.
- We evaluated a new steering rack set-up for Kimi in both session.
- Romain had an isuue with an incorrectly seated rear wheel nut in the morning and a cut rear tyre in the afternoon.
- Kimi’s KERS was not operating perfectly in the afternoon session.
What we learned today:
- The E20 worked well on the Sepang circuit with a good baseline set-up.
- Our initial impressions are that we are in good shape for Sunday’s race.
- Kimi reported a small improvement from the latest steering specification, which we will use for the rest of this weekend.
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-03
Free practice 1: P7, 1:38.919, 17 laps
Free practice 2: P15, 1:39.696, 22 laps
Kimi: “It was an okay day but we still have work to do on the set-up. The steering was a small improvement but we are still working in this area. I feel fine in the car in the hot conditions, and the race will take place later in the day so I don’t expect that to be a problem. I hope we will make some progress tomorrow as the car is quicker than we’ve shown. Having an issue with the KERS in the afternoon was frustrating but I’m sure we’ll have it fixed for tomorrow. The track is exactly as I remember it and I hope for a better qualifying than we had in Australia. I’m looking forward to racing here.”
Romain Grosjean, E20-01
Free practice 1: P5, 1:39.128, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P9,1:39.311, 29 laps
Romain: “Today went pretty well with a couple of small interruptions to my sessions. In the morning there was something not quite right with the rear of the car which was soon sorted, then in the afternoon I picked up a cut on one of my tyres. Neither was a major issue. We looked at dealing with the heat and finding a good set-up for the high track temperatures here. This track feels fantastic in a Formula 1 car. We’re not quite there with the set-up, but we have plenty of data to work through. I think we’ve got a good idea of where to go for qualifying tomorrow.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “In some ways it was a somewhat scrappy day after losing a tyre set on Romain’s car in the afternoon due to a cut which meant he lost some laps in the second session. He also had an incorrectly seated wheel nut in the morning. Kimi’s KERS was not playing ball for most of the second session which meant his pace was not fully representative. Those were today’s nuisances, but the positives are that the E20 is working reasonably well. We have good base set-ups for both drivers. Tyre management looks OK despite the hot conditions. The pace of the car on high fuel loads looks promising.”