Romain Grosjean led the way for Lotus on Friday in practice for the 2013 F1 Singapore Grand Prix
and despite being held back by a catalogue of mechanical issues, the Frenchman finished up fifth overall.
Grosjean began by setting the sixth quickest time in the opening session, even though he did just 12 tours – the least of anyone runner – due to a steering rack problem.
He then had further problems in P2 as well, with a suspected brake master cylinder issue costing him time at the start, while a hydraulic leak brought his session to a premature end, although this time he did 18 laps.
“We had a lot of problems today with the car which meant I didn't complete many laps,” said Grosjean. “It wasn't the ideal situation, but nevertheless the baseline we have here is pretty good.
“Hopefully we can get on top of the issues we had and have a strong car for qualifying as track position is pretty important here. Tyre degradation was better than we expected with the super soft performing well, so we'll have to look closely at the data for the rest of the weekend.”
Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile had a more productive day in the sister E21, posting the fifth best time in P1 and the eighth best in P2.
“It was a pretty decent day. The car felt okay, but I had some traffic on my fast lap on the softer tyres so I wasn't able to set a faster lap,” he explained. “The car isn't too bad and there are still some places where we can make it faster. The times don't matter on Friday [anyway] so we'll see what happens tomorrow.”
“It was quite a difficult day for us today with Romain missing a reasonable amount of running in his car, but he made the laps he did complete really count,” summarised Lotus trackside operations director, Alan Permane. “He seemed to get to grips with his car and the track very well considering the circumstances. The E21 looks reasonably competitive with both drivers pretty happy.
"We need to dial out some understeer on Kimi's car and once Romain has some more track time we should be well placed for the rest of the weekend.”