Fri: Lotus, Marussia, Caterham

Friday 18-July-2014 14:36

Lotus failed to make any inroads in Friday's practice for the German GP, joining Caterham and Marussia at the back of the field...

Lotus F1:
Pastor Maldonado: "We didn't have a great day as we have some work to do with the suspension changes. We spent a lot of our track time evaluating how the car behaves with this new configuration. And there is margin for improvement tomorrow. The conditions were extremely hot today and anything can happen over the course of the weekend. We'll just keep a calm approach and ensure we get 100% from the car."

Romain Grosjean: "It wasn't the easiest of days; the performance was a bit down and I had a bit of a moment this morning when the DRS didn't close into turn two - that was quite a special feeling I can tell you! The guys did a good job to sort the rear wing and we were able to carry on in the session. The car didn't feel bad to drive today, but it's a case of unlocking the pace with the different suspension configuration. Everyone is working hard and hopefully we will gain more understanding and pace tomorrow."

Jules Bianchi: "It has taken a bit of work today to get the setup closer to where it needs to be. The changes we have made to the car upset the balance so we had to go back to square one a little bit. After the break I could immediately feel that the car was better and we are heading in a good direction again, but there is still quite a lot of work to do with the information we have. It has been very hot here today, which is tough for everybody but thankfully no issues with the car so far."

Max Chilton: "We have struggled with the balance slightly more here than we did at the Silverstone test and this has required us to make quite a few set-up changes. We did expect this to be the case and I think we have made a lot of progress already. I think this is going to be an interesting weekend."

Marcus Ericsson: "I was running a different setup to Kamui in FP1 and I have to say the overall balance was ok right from the first run. I was losing quite a bit of time in the last sector with the car switching from oversteer to understeer but we improved the aero balance and mechanical setup and by the final run it was more consistent. In FP2 I went out straight away and was into my second flying lap when I was told there was an oil pressure issue and I had to stop the car. I was back in the pit quickly, as was my car, and the guys did a really good job to get me back out again with about 35 minutes left in the session. We managed to complete a performance run and then go onto the long run so even though we lost time we still managed to get quite a bit of the plan done. Obviously we wanted more laps but overall the car felt like it had improved since Silverstone. I think some of the changes we've made here suit my driving style better - we'll find out more tonight with the data and tomorrow on track in FP3, but right now I can't wait to get back in the car tomorrow and start again as I think we may make a bit of progress this weekend, something we've all been waiting for."

Kamui Kobayashi: "FP1 was a good session for me, certainly better than I've had for a few races and with good reliability we were able to complete the whole program. The car was understeering too much so we tried a couple of different setup options to help deal with that, but it was definitely improving by the end of the session. In FP2 we went out for the first run early and completed ten laps. The car balance felt much better with the changes we made over lunch but it immediately felt like it was down on power, it just felt strange. We made a couple more mechanical changes and went back out for run two but at the end of the second lap I lost any braking power and could smell burning. I pulled over in turn 16 as the rear of the car was by then on fire and ran to grab and extinguisher so I could help to put the fire out, but that was obviously the end of the session. It looks like it was a fuel leak that started the fire but we need more time tonight to find out exactly why that happened and then fix it. Despite how FP2 went I'm still pleased with how the car felt today, especially in the first run I did in the afternoon. If we can have more solid reliability I think we could have a better weekend than we've had for a while - now everyone will work as hard as possible tonight to help us do just that."

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