Lotus F1 Team’s 2013 car, the E21, took to the track for the first time with race driver Romain Grosjean at the wheel under bright blue skies in Jerez, Spain.
Romain was the fastest man on track for much of the day, ending the afternoon with the third quickest time. 54 laps were completed as the team went through its first day programme of shakedown and assessment.
Track: Jerez, Spain, 4.4km
Weather: Sunny, ambient 7-26°C, track 6-21°C
Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, evaluation of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package.
Laps Completed: 54
Classification: P3, 1:19.796
Interruptions: Ballast redeployment and KERS battery change in afternoon.
Romain will complete his E21 running at Jerez tomorrow, before handing the car over to team-mate Kimi Räikkönen for the Thursday and Friday sessions.
“The feeling is good from the E21; it feels very similar to the E20 from behind the wheel, even if it does look different from the outside. Once again Enstone has produced a car that is quick from the very first lap. We spent a little bit more time than ideal in the garage today, but that’s normal in testing. I’m happy we completed 54 laps, and even happier that all of them were quick. We now have a good idea of the new tyres and we’ll have some challenges from them; the grip level is there but performance does fall away with graining. That said, Jerez is a very specific track in this regard. The speed came easy today and we didn’t respond to the other cars going faster in the afternoon. We should go even better tomorrow.”
James Allison, Technical Director:
“It’s great to see the fruits of our labours take to the track for the first time here in Jerez. Everything has looked positive so far. The feedback from Romain has been encouraging and on the engineering side there have been no particular dramas of note. Overall it was a promising first day for this car and we hope to continue in this vein for the next days of testing.”