Lotus: Key for this race will be making the tyres work

20 April, 2012

Apr.20 (Lotus Press Release) Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean took to the track for the first practice sessions of the fourth round of the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship at the Bahrain International Circuit in hot and dry conditions.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes

  • In FP1 we evaluated our modified new floor and front wing, exclusively using the medium compound tyre.
  • FP2 saw heavy fuel running, focusing on the long run performance of the medium and soft compound tyres.

What we learned today

  • Tyre degradation potential is significant with both tyre compounds.
  • We are in reasonable shape looking at our degradation and pace.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-03
Free practice 1: P9, 1:34.609, 18 laps
Free practice 2: P13, 1:35.183, 33 laps

Kimi:
“The soft tyres felt better today but we have to work out which tyre will work best over a stint duration. It’s too early to draw any conclusion and we have to look at the data. At the moment, it doesn’t look like the difference will be night and day. The track conditions were surprisingly good straight away in first practice today, and it didn’t feel like a massive difference in the second session. Hopefully the wind does not get up overnight and blow sand on to the track. Tyre degradation should be interesting. There are things you can do as a driver to minimise this, but you can do more with the set-up of the car. I hope we find a good solution.”

Romain Grosjean, E20-04
Free practice 1: P10, 1:34.847, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P9, 1:34.615, 32 laps

Romain:
“This season so far we’ve been from quite cool temperatures in Australia to hot weather in Malaysia, reasonably cool in China and then hot again here in Bahrain. This variation makes it difficult for the team to set up the car, as you’re working with different conditions and therefore spend most of the practice sessions adjusting things to match. We now have a much better idea of how the car behaves and hopefully this will lead to a good performance in qualifying tomorrow. I think we can be quite happy with our day’s work; we ran through the full programme as planned and got some decent mileage under our belts. We’ve made a big improvement from where we were this time last week in China; I’m feeling confident on long runs and tomorrow we’ll be pushing hard to get the best single lap pace as well.”

James Allison, Technical Director:
“There’s a pattern emerging over the first four races where it seems that the programme we run on a Friday is different from that run by other teams, so you can’t draw too many conclusions merely from looking at our position on the timing monitors. The key for this weekend’s race will be making the tyres work in the heat and we’re encouraged by our pace using both tyres with both cars on high fuel today. We ran comparisons of our upgrade components and we have plenty of data to make an assessment.”


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