Formula 1 – Lotus Renault GP European Grand Prix FP 1 & 2 Report

June 25, 2011

Formula 1

Nick and Vitaly kicked their European Grand Prix weekend off with Friday’s FP1 and FP2 sessions on the streets of Valencia.

Alan Permane, Chief Engineer – Technical programme notes

  • The track was very green to begin with.
  • We used flow viz paint on both cars to assess the performance of our new DRS (drag reduction system). We also practiced using KERS in both sessions.
  • We ran both the medium and soft tyres in the second session.
  • The track was very dusty this morning, but steadily improved.

What we learned today:

  • The new rear wing is working well and it should be bringing the gain we expected.
  • Both tyres worked reasonably well, with no warm-up problems and the soft tyre looks between a second and a second and a half quicker over a flying lap.
  • All other new aero parts are working well so we will work tomorrow with all of the upgrades
  • Vitaly tried quite a major set-up change in FP2 but was not convinced with it, so we changed it back.

Nick Heidfeld, R31-04
Free practice 1: P5, 1:41.580, 23 laps
Free practice 2: P9, 1:39.040, 35 laps

Nick: “It was a good day, I have to say that I had my best long run ever in the afternoon session in terms of not encountering traffic; it was amazing and very good for learning about the car. I could make some changes from the steering wheel which was possible with having such a long run, and also it was good for learning the tyre characteristics of the new medium compound. The new medium tyre feels good and I’m really happy with the results from it as it has not been tested that much. I think the times at the end of FP2 give the best indication of our pace relative to our competitors. In this morning’s session, I think some other teams were running different programmes from us, so their times might have been a little misleading.”

Vitaly Petrov, R31-05
Free practice 1: P2, 1:41.227, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P10, 1:39.586, 27 laps

Vitaly: “Today we ran on both high fuel and low fuel to get a feel for the car on this circuit, and it was running well on both loads. We haven’t faced any mechanical difficulties so that was also a positive to be taken from today. Both cars finished in the top 10, and so there’s every reason to be positive and look forward to making some more progress tomorrow. I enjoyed the new medium tyres and they weren’t performing badly. It’s clear the soft tyres are, as expected, around 1.5 seconds quicker than the mediums so we will have to perform well on these tomorrow in order to have a successful weekend.”

Did you know? Vitaly has won three GP2 races here in Valencia, in 2007, 2008 and 2009.



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