Lotus' head of IndyCar operations, Olivier Picquenot, was equally pleased with the initial testing. "This was the most successful test I have ever participated in," he said. "We achieved more than I expected. The quality of the engine is perfect. We're very pleased from a technical aspect ... Hopefully the rest of the tests will be as successful."
De Silvestro said that the team had even managed to push on a little from pure engine runs. "We started tweaking on the race car just to see what it was like. It was a really positive test," she added. "I learned so many things right there ... We worked really well together, which was really cool. I can't wait to get back in the car again."
Lotus will next be back in action on the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course on January 23-24, with Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosports) expected in the car for his more experienced feedback on how the development was going, and Dreyer & Reinbold's new signing Oriol Servia is also expected to contribute to testing in February.
Full-scale testing at Sebring resumes on January 30 with James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), Tony Kanaan (KV Racing Technology), JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing) and the three Penske cars who will join de Silvestro once more for further track time.
New AJ Foyt Racing driver Mike Conway and Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing's Charlie Kimball will also finally get their chance of some on-track time from January 31 to February 1, while Ryan Briscoe plans to be among those spending the two dates at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway in California.
Teams also announced that they would return to Sebring at the start of March for full open testing. Due the size of the facilities at the circuit, teams had to be split into two separate two-day tests, with Andretti Autosport, Dale Coyne Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Dragon Racing, HVM Racing, Team Penske and Sam Schmidt Motorsports all scheduled to test on March 5-6.
Then AJ Foyt Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport, Ed Carpenter Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, KV Racing Technology, Panther Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Michael Shank Racing Indy will test on March 8-9. Firestone Indy Lights teams will also be testing at Sebring during the same week, on Wednesday March 7.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and Conquest Racing are not yet included in the Sebring line-up, while Ed Carpenter Racing and Dale Coyne Racing are yet to confirm their respective engine suppliers.
The 2012 IndyCar season starts on the streets of St Petersburg on March 25.