Adverse weather conditions forced the Iceman to remain frozen in the garage for the majority of the first days’ running here at Silverstone, but the 2007 World Champion still managed to gain some useful knowledge of the new track layout in preparation for qualifying tomorrow…
Q: How was it out there today?
KR: It was wet. It’s a shame we don’t have more wet tyres to be able to get more track time, but if it’s going to rain for the whole weekend then everybody tries to save their allocation. We were able to test certain things so it wasn’t a total waste of time. It was interesting to see the new section of the track; it’s only a few corners so it doesn’t make too much difference to a lap. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be a bit better. Even if it is wet again, everyone will go out in practice and in qualifying so we should see a drier line emerge. When there are only a couple of cars running this doesn’t happen and there’s much more chance of aquaplaning, but with everyone out there it should be much better.
Q: How’s the car feeling?
KR: We have to still find some setup improvements to get 100% happy, but when the weather is like it was today it’s not so easy to improve the car as the weather can change, or you can have a small issue. You just have to be patient and work on the small details and hope for the best results you can get.
Q: With the conditions as they were today, how useful was the running?
KR: We only did a few timed laps so we didn’t really change too much on the car. We’ll have to see how it looks tomorrow when we get some more laps. There’s not too much point in changing a lot on a wet Friday as you don’t know exactly how the weather is going to be on the Saturday and that’s when it’s important for qualifying.
Adverse weather conditions continued to hinder progress during second practice for the British Grand Prix this afternoon, with Kimi completing a mere 8 laps and Romain parking his E20 without setting a time.
Aside for a momentary ease midway through the 90 minutes session, the incessant rain brought proceedings to an almost standstill at Silverstone this afternoon, with the majority of teams completing just a handful of laps.
Kimi was one of the first to ease his car out onto the circuit for an install lap, with his team-mate opting to remain warm and dry in the garage during the early stages of running.
It was not until almost an hour had elapsed that Romain made his first foray onto the track, completing an install lap before parking his E20 for the remainder of the day.
Red flags interrupted running on the hour mark as former Lotus F1 Team driver became an unfortunate victim of severe aquaplaning, but this would not affect either of his successors who were firmly planted in their respective pit boxes.
Kimi ventured out into the spray for a final run on green marked intermediate compound Pirelli tyres late in the afternoon, but with so much standing water on the tarmac it proved to be a slippery encounter for the Finn.
With little to take from the day in terms of representative lap times, Kimi ended the session in P8 with a best time of 1:58.897 from 8 laps, while Romain did not complete a flying run and thus ended the day in P21.
Pos--Driver---------------Team------------------Time--------------Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m56.345s 8 2. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m56.474s + 0.129 15 3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m56.545s + 0.200 11 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m56.567s + 0.222 9 5. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m57.493s + 1.148 13 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m57.948s + 1.603 9 7. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m58.580s + 2.235 10 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m58.897s + 2.552 8 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m58.943s + 2.598 11 10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m59.015s + 2.670 14 11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m59.429s + 3.084 9 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m59.472s + 3.127 6 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m59.476s + 3.131 10 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m59.854s + 3.509 7 15. Felipe Massa Ferrari 2m00.565s + 4.220 7 16. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 2m00.820s + 4.475 11 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 2m01.099s + 4.754 6 18. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 2m01.348s + 5.003 12 19. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 2m03.719s + 7.374 8 20. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 2m04.774s + 8.429 8 21. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1 22. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2 23. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1 24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth
Lotus Team Quotes:
Kimi Raikkonen – 8th: “It was wet. It’s a shame we don’t have more wet tyres to be able to get more track time, but if it’s going to rain for the whole weekend then everybody tries to save their allocation. We were able to test certain things so it wasn’t a total waste of time. It was interesting to see the new section of the track; it’s only a few corners so it doesn’t make too much difference to a lap. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be a bit better. Even if it is wet again, everyone will go out in practice and in qualifying so we should see a drier line emerge. When there are only a couple of cars running this doesn’t happen and there’s much more chance of aquaplaning, but with everyone out there it should be much better.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “It’s never too much fun in conditions like we saw today as it is always a big dilemma about whether to risk the car to learn about what it is like to run in the conditions. We haven’t done a lot of wet weather running this year so it was useful for us to establish that the car behaves well in these conditions, especially as it may well be wet in the race. We were able to validate that all the wings are doing what they are supposed to do, even when the car is wet, and we did that with both drivers. Our pace in the morning showed that we don’t have any problems in these conditions. We were also able to conduct some pit stop practices which went well. Tomorrow and qualifying should be interesting.”
Persistent rain during the first practice session at Silverstone this morning limited Kimi and Romain to just a handful of laps each as the team opted to take shelter in the garage for the majority of running.
With track conditions resembling more of a sailing lake than a race circuit, running during first practice for the British Grand Prix this morning was severely hindered as the majority of cars remained parked for the duration, save for a few adventures onto the soaking wet Silverstone circuit.
The Lotus F1 Team drivers tiptoed out onto the track just a few minutes into running to complete tentative install laps in their E20s; both cars sporting blue marked full wet Pirelli tyres and an eye catching new livery featuring ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ logo.
With a third of the session elapsed, the pair emerged for their first flying runs of the day; the team seeking valuable data after the limited amount of wet running experienced so far this season.
While Kimi took a steady approach, analysis setup tweaks and a range of other elements to the E20, Romain had an eventful stint; posting what would remain the fastest lap of the morning despite an off-track excursion which fortunately left no damage to his car.
Late runs for both drivers were once more aimed at collecting data rather than pushing for raw pace, with Romain making numerous visits to the pit lane; putting the crew through their paces with a front wing change and practicing pullaways on the soaked tarmac surface.
As the chequered flag dropped on a decidedly low key session, Kimi found himself in P16 with a best time of 2:00.253 from just 6 laps, while Romain heads into the afternoon having set a 1:56.552 from 13 laps – good enough for P1 at the break.
Pos-Driver---------------Team-------------------Time---------------Laps 1. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m56.552s 13 2. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m56.827s + 0.275 10 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m57.174s + 0.622 6 4. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m57.664s + 1.112 11 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m58.119s + 1.567 7 6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m58.463s + 1.911 7 7. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m58.483s + 1.931 19 8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m58.493s + 1.941 10 9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m58.942s + 2.390 8 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m59.076s + 2.524 12 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m59.414s + 2.862 11 12. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m59.614s + 3.062 9 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m59.733s + 3.181 7 14. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m59.787s + 3.235 10 15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 2m00.125s + 3.573 5 16. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 2m00.253s + 3.701 6 17. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m01.834s + 5.282 6 18. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 2m01.835s + 5.283 6 19. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 2m04.341s + 7.789 9 20. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 2m05.022s + 8.470 11 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 2m11.760s + 15.208 6 22. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 4 23. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 3 24. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1