Lotus F1 Team finished their pre-season testing with Kimi Räikkönen setting the fastest time of the day at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona today. Kimi’s 1min 22.030secs lap was the fastest set over the two weeks testing at the 4.7 km circuit. He also completed the furthest distance today, with 121 laps.
Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver: “I was happy with today’s running. We didn’t have any major issues so it was certainly better than yesterday. Everything worked, we tried a lot of set-ups on the car and it all came together well. It was a long time in the car today but I feel fine. It was cooler today so the tyres didn’t work as well as otherwise but everything was okay. Of course, the fastest time at the end of the day looks good but no-one will know how fast any of the cars are until we get to qualifying at Albert Park. All the changes we have made over testing have been improving the car, so we’ll have to see what happens in Melbourne in a couple of weeks’ time. I’m feeling positive.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We’ve had a good, productive day to conclude our pre-season test programme. After the interruptions of yesterday we made some set-up changes overnight which immediately made Kimi feel more comfortable in the car as the balance was much more to his liking. We then spent the rest of the morning running on medium and then soft tyres, steadily improving the car. Despite having missed a test we are in good shape heading to Melbourne. We’ve completed two race distances and the E20 has proved reliable, easy to set-up and predictable in its handling with both drivers reporting they are happy.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "After the disappointment of last week, this test was crucial and I think we did a good job. First of all, we’ve been able to confirm that the changes made to the car fixed our front suspension problems. We were confident that the redesign was well conceived and well executed, but we have demonstrated the integrity of the modified part. It is a tribute to the all team, which has been working amazingly hard over the last few days in order to fly the E20 on time to Barcelona. Despite the rain and a few technical glitches, we managed to learn more about the new car. We now have a better understanding of it, and have a few positive setup directions that we can take further. Moreover, both drivers seem happy with the balance and tyre degradation. We are cautiously optimistic for the future and now looking forward to Melbourne."
Weather: Sunny, air 9-20°C, track 11-24°C
Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, aero evaluation, set-up changes, race distance run.
Laps Completed: 121
Classification: 1st, 1’22"030
Interruptions: Red flag in the afternoon.
The team will head to Melbourne, Australia for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 18.