Romain Grosjean has added to the reputation of Lotus being quick during the off-season by setting the fastest time in Day 2 of testing in Barcelona overnight.
Wet weather greeted the teams again for most of the day, although conditions did allow some dry running in the afternoon before the rain returned in the closing minutes. However, the cool conditions meant the drivers were unable to get their tyres to optimum operating temperatures and overall the lap times were below par.
Grosjean managed to pilot his Lotus E21 around the Circuit de Catalunya in 1:22.716 using soft compounds, almost half a second quicker than his closest rival, Jenson Button (McLaren, 1:23.181). Pastor Maldonado (Williams, 1:23.628) was third on the lap charts.
It’s interesting to note that Ferrari chose to concentrate on long stints using the hard compound tyres and while Alonso racked up over 100 laps his best lap time was the slowest of the day, more than five seconds off Grosjean’s best lap.
Young Aussie hope Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso, 1:25.483) posted the seventh best lap of the day. Despite being frustrated by the weather, Daniel remained optimistic, “Looking on the positive side, the changing weather meant I was able to try the Pirelli rain, intermediate and soft tyres, so that was interesting. I’m looking forward to achieving more on my last day on Sunday, when the weather is meant to be much better.”
Kimi Raokkonen will take over for Lotus during the last two days of pre-season testing and Grosjean was happy to end his winter on top. “Even though the weather was far from ideal it was a pretty good day for us,” he said. “And it’s certainly a better feeling to end the session with the fastest time on the board rather than the slowest!
“We had strong reliability again today and the E21 feels good in all conditions, which is very promising for the season ahead. Of course, I wish I could have more time in the car before the season starts, but if we’re in the same position on the monitors when we get to Australia I’ll be very happy indeed.”
[Pic: Lotus F1 Team/LAT Photographic]
2013 F1 pre-season testing – Barcelona II (Day 2)
- Romain Grosjean Lotus – 1:22.716 (88 laps)
- Jenson Button McLaren – 1:23.181 +0.465 (72 laps)
- Pastor Maldonado Williams – 1:23.628 +0.912 (75 laps)
- Sebastian Vettel Red Bull – 1:23.743 +1.027 (65 laps)
- Nico Hulkenberg Sauber – 1:23.744 +1.028 (79 laps)
- Adrian Sutil Force India – 1:24.215 +1.499 (62 laps)
- Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso – 1:25.483 +2.767 (61 laps)
- Max Chilton Marussia – 1:25.598 +2.882 (75 laps)
- Giedo van der Garde Caterham – 1:26.316 +3.600 (48 laps)
- Nico Rosberg Mercedes – 1:26.655 +3.939 (120 laps)
- Fernando Alonso Ferrari – 1:27.878 +5.162 (102 laps)