Productive day of running ahead of tomorrow
Romain and Pastor combined to run 124 laps in both practice sessions despite the challenges of the new track surface, high temperatures and several red flags at Interlagos.
The conditions weren’t to deter their focus, as the duo’s E22s had additional data collection equipment fitted for their aero work for the morning.
In the afternoon, the attention switched to tyre assessments and working towards the optimal setup for the Brazilian weekend.
While pace wasn’t on the agenda the E22 showed potential with Pastor taking seventh in the morning session while Romain ran in fifteenth in tough conditions.
In the afternoon, both drivers showed consistency in the blistering heat of the afternoon, taking 11th and 12th respectively to round off a productive day of running.
The conditions at the circuit proved challenging for plenty of the drivers, but Romain felt today gave a good platform for the rest of the weekend.
“There was quite a lot to think about today and conditions weren’t the easiest to make progress as the temperature changed a lot during the day,” he said. “There were also quite a few red flag interruptions to the afternoon session. Looking at the timesheets, we seem to have reasonable potential here so I’ll be working very closely with my engineers to see what improvements we can make ahead of tomorrow.”
There was optimism from his team-mate too, with the Venezuelan feeling there was continuation from the USA.
"The car felt pretty good today, like it did in Austin so that gives me a positive outlook ahead of the rest of the weekend,” he said. “The new surface is quite slippery so we had the usual battle to find grip but I’m happy that the tyre allocation was changed. It was good to end FP1 in the top ten so that has to be the target for qualifying tomorrow.”
The hard work begins after the laps, with Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane looking ahead to maximising FP3 tomorrow.
“We had a reasonably busy day trying to learn the best set-up for this new track surface with the added challenge of the surface being around 20°C hotter in the afternoon than it was in the morning,” he said. “We completed a good number of laps today, with positive aero work in the morning and solid tyre work in the afternoon. We have a lot of data to analyse plus the potential for rain tomorrow so it will be a busy engineering team ahead of FP3.”