Romain Grosjean gave a taste of the potential of Lotus F1 Team’s E22 at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix whilst Pastor Maldonado’s day was cut prematurely short after an off at turn 9 early in the afternoon session.
In the morning, the focus was on aerodynamic efficiency, finding the right balance of downforce and overall set-up. A new front wing was tested on Pastor’s car, with promising results.
Romain completed a total of 45 laps over both Friday practice sessions, finishing P13 in FP1, and P14 in FP2. A small technical issue with Romain’s car early in the second session explains a little of the relative performance loss, and the team remain hopeful that there are further pace gains to be made.
“This is a track which we knew would be a challenge,” said Romain afterwards.
“We focused mostly on finding the right downforce level and getting the set-up where we want it to be. It’s likely to be quite a tough weekend but we’re optimising every part of the package. You never know what can happen at Spa.”
Though Pastor’s weekend hasn’t started the way the team had hoped, he feels optimistic about the car’s potential at the Spa circuit.
“Certainly, we have potential to fight for a good qualifying session and a good race,” he said.
“We do struggle with our power for the long straights, but it is better than we expected so that’s a plus point. We’re compensating with the set-up for the second sector so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”