Vitaly Petrov remained in the R31 today as the Lotus Renault GP Team completed 65 laps in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Starting from tomorrow, the team will be evaluating Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna as possible replacements for Robert Kubica, who is recovering from a heavy rally crash.
What we learned today:
* There don’t appear to be any problems with warm-up of the hard tyre compound, which the team ran for the first time today. Degradation levels looked reasonable.
* Optimisation of the KERS in conjunction with the braking system by completing some useful mapping work.
Vitaly Petrov: “We were not worried about the lap times and instead we focussed on the tyres to try and understand how they work. We also did some aero mapping in the morning and then spent a lot of time working on the brakes and the KERS. Unfortunately we lost some time with a water leak, which meant we could not do the race distance in the afternoon as we planned. After three days in the R31, I’m only just starting to feel really comfortable with the car and it was in the last two hours of the session that we found some good things with the set-up.”
Eric Boullier: “Our second day in Jerez was not the easiest because we suffered with some minor technical problems. However, we still managed reasonable mileage and we have ticked off some more items on the job list. In particular, the work we did on the brakes and the KERS has been very beneficial and we are learning how to get the most from the system. For tomorrow, Nick [Heidfeld] will get his opportunity in the car and this will give us the chance for a detailed evaluation before we make any decisions.”
Alan Permane’s technical programme notes:
* We started the day with a continuation of our aero work in the morning and carried out some constant speed runs down the straight. The focus then switched to our tyre programme and working on the brakes and KERS.
* Unfortunately we were plagued by a water leak for much of the day, which limited our running and meant we did not have the chance to complete a race distance. The issue has now been resolved.
* For tomorrow, Nick Heidfeld will be in the car, while Bruno Senna will be given some mileage on Sunday.
Did You Know?
By the time of the R31 car build, the design office had produced 9,000 technical drawings.