After a busy few weeks, Kimi returned to the home of Lotus F1 Team today refreshed from the recent break. Aside from catching up with all the latest developments back at base, he also had a glimpse into the future…
Spain, Geneva, Australia, Malaysia, Lebanon and of course the UK; Kimi has been here, there and everywhere already in 2012 and we’re barely into April! It was back to work today at Enstone for the 2007 World Champion with an exciting start to the day, as his race engineer Mark Slade explains:
“Kimi’s main priority today was to sit in a basic mock-up we have of next year’s car. There’s some re-thinking in terms of the driver position for 2013, and we wanted to test it out before committing any further to the concept. It may seem early, but it’s better to do these things sooner rather than later otherwise it can hold up the whole design process. We’re assessing very basic features at this point; making sure the changes we’re considering are going to be ok for him and he didn’t have any problems with it which is good news! He’s a pleasure to deal with, especially on the technical side.”
Next up was a trip to the Design Office to catch up with the engineers in preparation for the Chinese Grand Prix next week, where Mark was once again on hand to run through the key points with his driver:
“We just took the chance to have a brief chat about things before Shanghai. This included discussions over the power steering and what we’re planning for that, aero improvements we have coming for the next race, and also some damper mods. We basically just gave him a quick run-down on what to expect in China, and what we’re hoping for.”
“Kimi has always gone very well at Shanghai. The last time I worked with him there was in 2006, when he was running in a strong P2 during a wet / dry race until technical problems forced him to retire. That was a real shame, but he had always performed well there in previous years as well with P3 in 2004 and P2 in 2005. Then of course there was his win in 2007.”
To round off the day, the 2007 World Champion dropped in to the team’s new Driver-in-the-Loop simulator building to have a look around the facility, which is scheduled for completion in the coming weeks. No doubt he’ll be spending a significant amount of time there, so best to get used the surroundings in advance!