F1 »

Q&A: James Allison, Lotus

James Allison: Canada is the most challenging circuit of the year from the point of view of the brake wear...

Lotus F1 team technical director James Allison reflects on Monaco and looks ahead to this weekend's event in Canada...



Q:
James, now you've had some time to reflect on Monaco, what do you think went wrong for the team?

James Allison:
I think the most difficult thing to judge from the last race is whether what we saw from Kimi [Raikkonen] would have been mirrored by Romain [Grosjean] had he not retired so early in the race. Nothing we saw on Thursday or Saturday seemed to suggest that it would have done, but if he had suffered similarly with tyre degradation then it would have been a difficult race for him too.

Q:
Kimi missed the first session due to a steering change – is this area a concern for the team?

James Allison:
Monaco demands a specific steering setup which entails different suspension components to enable sufficient steering lock to be employed. In addition, we tried a higher geared steering setup for Kimi. You can't test this in advance so the first practice session was used to trial this new setup, but it was evident very quickly that it was not suitable. The change takes sufficient time that we had to start immediately in first practice, but he knows the track well. We could also see Romain's pace despite a lack of F1 experience in Monaco. Kimi struggled with both the car and the tyres throughout the weekend and I think it would have been a troublesome event for him with or without having run in every session. Our base steering set-up has got Kimi on to the podium, but we're still working on refining it to get it exactly to his liking.

Q:
Was track and tyre temperature a factor in the race?

James Allison:
It's genuinely hard to say. The track temperature for most of the race was in the low 30s which is not unusual; we've been to several circuits throughout the course of the year with similar conditions and have had no issues keeping our tyres within a good operating window. Probably the most unusual thing about Monaco is the smoothness of the surface – which is more noticeable than at any other venue – and the E20 has generally performed best at circuits with rougher tarmac.

Q:
Kimi seemed to suffer more than others from tyre degradation. Previously the E20 has looked very good on its tyres…

James Allison:
It was a bit of a surprise. Every team seems to have had a bit of yo-yoing with tyres this year but we've certainly had less than most up to this point; in fact we'd had none at all until we came to Monaco. Taking a positive outlook, if we can continue to have five good races for every one bad race this year we'll be in good shape over the season.

Q:
From one street course to another – can we expect more of the same in Montreal?

James Allison:
Montreal is a total contrast to Monaco, however it's another circuit which is further towards the smoother end of the spectrum in terms of track surface, so it will give us a chance to see how much this may have affected performance in Monaco, and whether we can get the business done under these kinds of circumstances.

Q:
How different will the car be?

James Allison:
We'll be taking a smaller rear wing with a front wing set up to balance that. One of the key factors is to make sure we have our braking configuration correctly set up with good levels of cooling to survive what is a very arduous race for the brakes. Luckily the car has been quite good on brakes throughout the year to date with no real issues to report.

Q:
How much of a concern is braking in Canada and what can you do because of this?

James Allison:
There are several high speed straights into low speed corners so the brakes receive repeated extreme use over the course of a lap. Canada is the most challenging circuit of the year from the point of view of the brake wear. Brake wear is largely a function of brake temperature, and so a lot of work must be done (using tools such as CFD, the wind tunnel and a brake dynamometer rig) to ensure adequate aerodynamic cooling of the disks and pads.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.05.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
27.05.2012- Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
27.05.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 leads Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
26.05.2012-  Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
26.05.2012-  Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
27.05.2012- Lotus F1 Team E20
13.04.2012 - James Allison (GBR) Lotus

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.