Fri: Lotus, Marussia, Caterham

Friday 4th April 2014

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Fri: Lotus, Marussia, Caterham

Fri: Lotus, Marussia, Caterham

Lotus joined Marussia and Caterham at the bottom of the timesheets in Bahrain but at least they each put in more than 20 laps.

Lotus F1:
Pastor Maldonado: "It was good to have a reliable car and we completed a lot of work today. We had a lot of parts to test and we ran through many different evaluations. I made a little mistake in the evening session and we took quite a bit of air after jumping the kerb. Fortunately, not too much damage was done and we could continue the session. I'm looking forward to tomorrow to see how well we can perform."

Romain Grosjean: "We have learnt a lot about the car today which can only help us to make progress. I had a bit of an issue which needed investigating in the second session, so it was frustrating to miss some time as I'm sure we would have made more improvements. It was interesting driving one session on a hot and bright afternoon then the next in darkness. We have lots of work to do for tomorrow."

Marussia:
Jules Bianchi: "I think we saw promising signs from our running today which suggest that we have made some good progress with understanding our package a little more since Malaysia. The run on the soft tyre looked good so we look forward to exploring the performance of the car a little more tomorrow. Of course, we did have to end the day early to look at the brake disc problem that Max experienced, but a good start and some things to look forward to over the rest of the weekend I hope."

Max Chilton: "It was not the straightforward day of practice and preparation we had targeted but we were making good progress nonetheless and things were looking quite promising in the early part of the second session in particular. We were just getting started on the long run work when I felt something let go on the front left and it threw me into a spin. It felt like a brake disc failure and this is in fact what happened, so it's something we need to look into very carefully this evening. It's interesting to be back here after pre-season testing at this circuit but obviously the floodlights give a different dimension to the action. I do like the night races."

Caterham:
Kamui Kobayashi: "After sitting out FP1 I was keen to get back in the car, especially with the better reliability we had in the first session which will help us much more over the rest of the weekend. The car felt ok but we had understeer in both the low and high speed turns so we tried a different front anti-roll bar for run two and there was a small improvement, but there was more front locking so I couldn't really attack into the braking zones. On the softs the car felt better, but it was very snappy on power. On my first quick lap on the softs I had traffic and I had to lift for yellows in turn four, and then again the next time I went for a quick lap so I think with a clean run there was quite a few tenths left in the car, but we didn't have a chance to improve that as we went onto the long run for the final stint, starting on the mediums. That went ok and we finished Friday with a good number of laps for the first time for me this year. The normal long Friday night is now ahead and I'm sure we'll make some progress tomorrow."

Marcus Ericsson: "FP1 was ok - we started with a rear wing change to look at some data from that, and then got stuck into the full program that was used mainly to prepare for the race. Throughout the session we kept improving the driveability of the power unit, and, balance-wise, we started with too much oversteer in the high speed corner, and understeer in the lows, but we made a couple of changes to the ride height and a few other mechanical setup changes, and by the end of the session we were heading in the right direction. For FP2 we made a few more changes to the setup and the initial feeling was that there was more grip overall, especially in the high speed sections where the balance was ok, but I was having power issues throughout most of the first run which meant I wasn't really able to push. The power was coming in and out in a way that wasn't really predictable, so I didn't know what was going to happen when I got on the throttle coming out of each corner - unfortunately I didn't get one lap without that issue so the final laptimes really weren't a clear guide to where we are performance-wise, but we'll look at that in detail tonight. We finished with a long run which started on the softs. The deg levels were pretty good but with the same power issue I wasn't really able to push, but with about five minutes left of the session I was told to stop the car as we had a power unit problem. Renault will look at that and thankfully it happened at the end of the session so, overall the main thing is we've finally had a better Friday and that means we're in a better position after FP1 and FP2 than we've been all season. We have a lot to do tonight, but I'm feeling better about the rest of the weekend than I did in Australia or last week in Malaysia, so now the aim is to build on the mileage we put in today and make some real progress tomorrow."

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