Lotus continue with longer wheelbase

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Lotus F1 Team say they are confident they will find the right set-up overnight after missing some consistence during Friday's practice sessions. Kimi Raikkonen's spin that made him miss half of second practice did not seem to bring any additional worries to that.

The team also confirmed they will continue with the longer wheelbase version of their E21, having seen its benefits at the Korean Grand Prix last week. The different front suspension and nose that lengthen the car were designed in preparation for 2014 but seem to be working well enough to keep it on this year's car as well.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-05: “The car felt pretty good today. Of course, there are some areas we can improve but I’m quite happy with the progress we made. I spun in FP2 so we did miss some of the long run laps we would have got this afternoon. I was on a fast run and the wind changed, which can affect the car sometimes. At least we didn’t do any damage so the crew won’t have any extra work. It’s not a big drama as we know the track pretty well. We have a few changes for tomorrow so let’s see what happens.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-04: “Finding the right balance to get the car working well around here is quite tricky and the tyres are not making that any easier, so we’ve got some work to do overnight to make it a little easier to handle. There’s definitely some more performance to be found, and it’s always better to be near the top of the times even if you’ve not got things quite right, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We have struggled a bit for consistency today, with both drivers having off-track excursions. Romain in particular experienced brake locking, which is something we can counter with some mapping work. We lost a reasonable amount of long run data collection as a result of Kimi’s spin, meaning Romain’s programme was modified slightly and we might look at doing some race simulation work during tomorrow’s practice. On the softer tyre we look competitive and I think we can expect to qualify well. Our long run pace also looks good so it’s an encouraging start to the weekend.”