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Lotus pair pleased with solid start

11 May 2012

Lotus pair Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean declared themselves pleased with the first day of running for the Spanish Grand Prix after posting top six times during Friday practice at Catalunya.

The Enstone-based squad used the first day of running to evaluate lower-fuel set-up changes made after the recent three-day test at Mugello, with aerodynamic evaluations being the focus for the morning session in Barcelona.

Heavy fuel running was then the order of the day in FP2, with Raikkonen emerging as the quicker of the two with the fifth quickest time as he sampled the recent modifications made to the E20 for the first time.

“There were no problems with the car and everything felt good today,” the Finn said. “We tried a different front wing, but in the car you can't tell if it makes much difference; that is why the team's engineers are looking at the data. I felt comfortable and I think the work done at Mugello and in the Windshear test programme have made improvements.

“We'll have to see tomorrow how much pace everyone has when it comes to qualifying as that's when it matters. We've been fast everywhere else so far and there's nothing to suggest we won't be fast here again.”

Grosjean, who goes into the weekend having been quickest during the Mugello test, was only slightly slower than Raikkonen but was also happy with the performance of the car.

“It was a pretty good day today,” he said. “The weather is fantastic, the car feels great and the lap times were promising; I'm a happy man. The balance felt strong on both tyres and we were able to complete long runs to give us valuable tyre data for Sunday. I'm happy with the performance of the car even when the tyres are nearer the end of their performance life which is a good sign for this weekend. It's very close of course, so qualifying will be interesting. I can't wait for tomorrow to come.”


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