Feeling the heat in Hockenheim
A blistering Hockenheim saw Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado put the E22 through its paces as the team finished running firmly believing there's more to come from the car ahead of the 2014 German Grand Prix weekend.
With 120 laps split between the two sessions and the two drivers, Romain took P17 in both sessions, while Pastor took P18 in the morning, before improving to P16 in the afternoon.
Plenty of laps helped the team make good progress in adapting to the change of removing the team’s pioneering front-rear interlinked suspension.
Romain, however, was unfazed by the change and looked to the positives: "The car didn’t feel bad to drive today, but it’s a case of unlocking the pace with the different suspension configuration. Everyone is working hard and hopefully we will gain more understanding and pace tomorrow.”
Encouragingly, team-mate Pastor agreed that the car has potential with the new change: "We spent a lot of our track time evaluating how the car behaves with this new configuration, and there is margin for improvement tomorrow."
Pastor was able to evaluate the car over a longer period than his team-mate as Romain picked up a DRS issue in the first session that temporarily restricted his running.
The problem did however give the Frenchman a new experience: "I had a bit of a moment this morning when the DRS didn’t close into turn two – that was quite a special feeling I can tell you! The guys did a good job to sort the rear wing and we were able to carry on in the session."
Romain rejoined the track soon after, and with both increasing the mileage, the team were able to focus on other improvements in response to the suspension changes, including ride height and aero balance.
There was more than just the E22 in the spotlight, as the team took the chance to learn the circuit under different fuel and tyre configurations, which saw Pirelli's soft compound used in the morning and the super-soft in the afternoon.
Reflecting on a day of firsts and experimentation, Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane was pleased with the hard work: "It was quite a straightforward day for us. We achieved good mileage from both cars so we have plenty of data to digest ahead of tomorrow’s practice and qualifying."