Team Lotus test driver Luiz Razia has said the progress made by the second-year team over the course of the 2011 F1 season is clear after a day of running during he Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi.
The Brazilian took over from Rodolfo Gonzalez for Wednesday's running at Yas Marina in what was his first run in the T128 since a run in Barcelona earlier in the year.
Since then, the team has worked hard to improve the car and close the gap to its rivals and Razia said the progress made was clear.
“The last time I drove the T128 was in Barcelona; the car has improved a lot since then and I feel Pirelli have done a great job with the tyres,” he said. “I feel that the car is easier to drive and I felt more confident to push and get the most out of it that I could.”
In total, Razia managed 89 laps over the course of the day and he said he was pleased with the work he had been able to carry out.
“This morning we did a lot of damper work for the team looking ahead to the 2012 season, with many adjustments and evaluation of each run,” he said. “We also did a performance run, which was very good as I was able to pick up speed quickly on the first flying lap.
“Most of the afternoon was dedicated to the 2012 Pirelli tyre programme, and we did some evaluation on that, looking at how the tyres behaved. We also did some performance runs this afternoon with a baseline setup, but unfortunately the red flag meant that I couldn't complete the best lap possible. The car balance felt good and I improved on my times so I'm quite happy. What I wanted to achieve was to do as many laps as possible so I was happy with 89 laps in total.
“89 laps under the belt shows how much you can learn in just a day. Perhaps that's why the rookies struggle a little in F1 initially. There was so much to learn today, and an awful lot to think about! It's about trying to give good feedback and also think about what's happening, and also get the best out the car, which of course you're not used to. So it's so important for us to have this test, and this opportunity doesn't come along very often, so I'm extremely grateful and happy to get the time in the car.”