Romain Grosjean admitted that his performance on the opening day of the final pre-season F1 test of the year was the ideal way to bounce back from the issues faced by Lotus in Barcelona last week.
Grosjean managed just seven laps on track at Catalunya during the second test of the winter before Lotus was forced to cancel its running due to concerns aboit the chassis on the E20, which then underwent modification back at the team's Enstone base.
Returning to Spain for the first day of the final test, Grosjean worked through a programme which included system checks on the modified car as well as aerodynamic runs and set-up work, with the only interruption coming when a KERS battery needed to be changed.
A late lap of 1min 23.252secs was good enough to put Grosjean top of the times on the first day and he admitted it was the perfect way for the team to bounce back from its earlier issues.
“The car was feeling very good and it's great to bounce back from our dramas to set the fastest time of the day,” he said. “It's clear we have solved the problem we encountered and now we have to complete a very full test programme this week. The feeling in the team is fantastic and it's like last week's issues never happened.
“My crew told me that the problems would make us stronger, and this is true. The chassis is stronger, and all the team is stronger. We gathered good data today and we have a few interesting things that we would like to confirm tomorrow which should help us make a good step forwards.”
Technical director James Allison was also pleased with the way the team and car had performed on track given the problems encountered last week.
“Our main target for today was to compress as much set-up work as we could into the first day as we are playing catch-up relative to our rivals at this track,” he said. “Of course, we want to complete as many laps as possible, but this second objective is inevitably compromised somewhat by needing to make many short runs punctuated by set-up changes. Obviously, we're very pleased to complete the day without any major difficulties to the car after such a troubled start here last week.”