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Better-than-expected 'good start' for Lotus

After a somewhat disappointing showing in the pre-season test sessions in Spain, Lotus sprang to life with a strong showing in Friday's free practice sessions.
Many pundits had been wondering whether Lotus would be a spent force coming into the 2013 F1 world championship, after a below-par showing in the 12 days of pre-season testing in Jerez and Barcelona last month.

But a strong showing in Friday's two free practice sessions at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia proved there was plenty of pace in the new E21 car after all, and the team is looking forward to further advances on Saturday.

"It's good for the season to start and the car felt pretty strong out there," said Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the day. "I don't think we're the fastest but it's a good start. It was nice to have a reliable day after spending some time in the garage during testing. "

The Finn ended up with the fourth fastest time on Friday with a lap of 1:26.361s, just over three tenths faster than his French team mate Romain Grosjean.

"It feels great to be out on circuit and on such a lovely day too. The track felt good and the car felt better," said Grosjean. "It took a while for the grip to come to us, but you expect that on a street circuit.

"We made good progress with set-up on the car over both sessions and I think there's more to come which is promising," he added, sounding very positive with progress so far in Australia.

Alan Permane, the team's trackside operations director, said that Friday's running has shown that the new E21 car had performed reliably and had provided good data for determining the team's set-up for Saturday's qualifying session.

"We evaluated a new front wing on both cars," he revealed. "Kimi ran with a new floor in both sessions." Other work on the car included evaluating revised exhaust outlets on both cars and concentrating on long distance runs in the late afternoon session.

"There were no surprises from it or the car," said Raikkonen. "We'll have to see what happens tomorrow with qualifying as maybe it will be a bit cooler. I'm happy so far this weekend."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
Alex Wurz (AUT) and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF16-H.
27.08.2016. Qualifying
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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