Barcelona tests: Day 4

Nico Hulkenberg (and below)

Nico Hulkenberg (and below)


Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg clocked his first miles of 2015 in the final day of testing in Barcelona, completing 36 laps on a windy and chilly day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Nico Hulkenberg #27
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 36 laps
Mileage: 168 km
Fastest lap: 1:26.591
Classification: P8 of 9

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a very nice sensation to be back in a Formula One car and getting the feeling of being in the cockpit again. It was exciting and I really enjoyed my time driving the car and working with the engineers after the winter break. Unfortunately our day was shortened by an issue with the power unit, something we will look into once the car is back at the factory. This, together with the very windy and cold conditions, made our work harder but every lap is valuable in pre-season. I am really looking forward to the final test next week and to try the new car. I am especially looking forward to Melbourne and starting racing again.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It was not the most straightforward of days, with a few technical issues costing us track time. A windy morning made it difficult to evaluate some of the items we were testing, but it still made for a useful first experience with the new Pirelli tyres for Nico, and we will be able to extract some data from those laps. Although we finish this test with a fairly frustrating day for Nico, over these four days we gathered a lot of useful information and we will put that into good practice for the start of the season.”

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain



Romain Grosjean returned to the wheel of the Lotus F1 E23 hybrid to top the times for the fourth day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Romain completed 111 laps over the course of a programme of set-up evaluations and performance simulations. The day was characterised by clear skies and sunshine, however conditions were windy. Romain’s best lap time of 1min 24.067secs was the fastest of the test.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Sun, crisp and windy. Ambient 10°C – 19°C Track 11°C – 29°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments, performance simulations
Laps Completed: 111
Classification: P1, 1:24.067
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal.

Lotus F1 will resume test action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the next four-day test commencing Thursday 26 February with Romain driving on the first and third day and Pastor in action on days two and four.

France's Romain Grosjean (and below)

France’s Romain Grosjean (and below)

Romain Grosjean: “It was great to get behind the wheel of the E23 once more. Conditions were pretty tricky with quite a bit of wind, especially early on, but the car ran well, meaning we could complete the tests we wanted to – even if I had to modify my lines in the morning because the wind was pushing the car! We made some good improvements with the balance and set-up over the course of the day and it felt a lot better after we made changes for the afternoon. We completed a very promising mileage and it’s always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors, even if it is far too early to know what everyone else is doing.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We’ve enjoyed a solid first test in Barcelona with good reliability and encouraging performance. The biggest positive we have seen so far is the reliability of the E23 which is enabling us to push along with our assessments and evaluations over the course of 361 laps or 1680km. It was good to have Romain in the car so we could add his feedback to that we’ve already received here from Pastor and Jolyon. Today was particularly windy, making it harder to work on car balance assessments, but we conducted a productive race simulation in the afternoon as well as other performance evaluations. During this test, we’ve completed plenty of laps so we have plenty to be working on over the next three days before we’re back in action here.”


Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 4 -  Barcelona, SpainMotor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain



Driver: Valtteri Bottas

Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Set-up and Race sim
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 11 – 19 ºC / 12 – 28ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We had a very busy plan today. The morning was tough due to the wind conditions which affected our chassis testing. In the afternoon we had a race-sim planned, but this was interrupted by three red flags, then once again in the final run of the day there was another red flag. All of these stoppages stilted our progression slightly and meant we couldn’t quite complete our plan. Throughout the whole test though we have gathered a lot of data and are prepared for the final test next week.

Valtteri Bottas: “We completed quite a few laps today which was positive even though our programme was disrupted a few times. The FW37 remains reliable but we have quite a way to go before we are at the level we want to be, although we are on schedule. Both tests have been relatively issue free and so we have begun preparations for Australia and look forward to the final test next week.”



Barcelona tests: Day 2

Jolyon Palmer in the E23

Jolyon Palmer in the E23 (and below)


Jolyon Palmer had his first taste of the Lotus F1 E23 hybrid in his role as third and reserve driver. Over the course of 77 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Jolyon ran through a programme of tyre and aero assessments, setting a best lap of 1min 26.280secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cold and sunny. Ambient 4°C – 17°C Track 7°C – 27°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments
Laps Completed: 77
Classification: P8, 1:26.280
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal. Fluid replenishment.

Jolyon Palmer: “Today went well. We racked up a lot of laps and I got a good feel for the car. It was very slippery first thing with the cold track, it was certainly very difficult with the hard tyres combined with the low temperatures! Through the day there was a good mix of conditions and set-ups to work with. There was a lot to take on board with the different settings for the car and the different programmes we were running, so it’s been a pretty steep learning curve. It’s been a very positive start for me and I hope my work has benefited the team. I loved being in the car and I can’t wait to get back out on track!”


Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Today was about data accumulation and Jolyon did a great job in his first time in the car, especially with particularly cold conditions to start the session here this morning. We’ve completed a number of aero runs with a variety of different data collection tools on the car as well as conducted a number of different tyre assessments to build a picture of what to expect from Pirelli’s latest tyres working on the E23. The car has run well again and overall we’re making good progress this week.”



Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Systems, set-up and tyre work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 4 – 15ºC / 9 – 27ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “It has been another productive day. Barcelona is a good representative circuit so the data we get here is very useful. We had a lot of work to do with Felipe which we covered. Our focus is moving from reliability and long runs to more performance based tests and I am pleased with how the car has run so far in Barcelona.”

Felipe Massa: “The car has a lot of potential and today we realised some of that but we still have a lot of work to do. We completed the programme for the day without any unexpected issues. The work on tyres this afternoon gave us a lot of good data which we now have to look at. Getting more laps in the FW37 is important for the continued development of the car.”


Sahara Force India made the most of the second day of testing in Barcelona, as Sergio Perez completed a total of 121 laps – the second highest tally in the field.

Sergio Perez #11
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 121 laps
Mileage: 563 km
Fastest lap: 1:24.702
Classification: P4 of 10

Sergio Perez: “I am really happy with the way the day went and by the amount of laps we managed to complete. We worked on understanding the new tyres and I think we took a good step forward in that respect; of course, we are waiting for our ‘new baby’ to come and we’re really looking forward to put all the learning we did in the last two days into practice with the new car. On a personal level, these days have also been valuable to get to know my new race and performance engineers: we made good progress and I am looking forward to even more when working on the simulator this coming week.”

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer “It was a very productive day with a solid 121 laps and no technical issues. Our main objectives of the day were for Sergio to get to know his new engineering team better, in addition to lots of set-up and procedural work. We continued the evaluation of the 2015 Pirelli tyres we started yesterday, working through performance running in the morning and long runs in the afternoon. The data we gathered today will be really useful not just for the first few races, but also for the final test next week. We are looking forward to continuing our testing programme over the final two days.”

A rather thoughtful looking Perez

A rather thoughtful looking Perez

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