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Gearbox woes hinder Heidfeld

11 March 2011

Lotus Renault GP star and F1 returnee Nick Heidfeld was left wanting more laps today with gearbox problems stopping him from completing a planned race distance this afternoon at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

Heidfeld did manage to get going again after lunch, and did finish proceedings fourth quickest, on a 1 minute 22.073 seconds. However he only did 67 tours in total, less than half that managed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and somewhat ironically – given the Lotus naming war – Team Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen.

“For our final day in Barcelona we started by working on car balance to be ready for Melbourne. The set-up work was useful and taught us quite a few things,” Heidfeld reflected.

“We would have liked to do more laps and I was hoping to do a race distance later in the day, but the problems with the gearbox after lunch meant we spent a bit too much time in the garage.

“However, we managed to get out for the final hour and did some running on heavy fuel,” he added.

Lotus Renault GP chief race engineer Alan Permane meanwhile concurred that the gearbox issue wasn't exactly helpful.

“We had a good morning. The car was working well and showed good pace. The programme involved the continuation of our set-up work from earlier in the week,” he continued. “For the afternoon we had planned a race distance, but unfortunately we had to change the gearbox at lunchtime.”

Lotus Renault GP now head back to Enstone as the squad has elected not to run on Saturday.

To see Friday's testing times in full, click here


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