Romain Grosjean got his second taste of the Lotus F1 Team E23 Hybrid and made it a memorable return on the final day of testing, as he clocked 111 laps and the fastest time of the four days with a lap of 1min 24.067secs.
A sunny and windy Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was regularly interrupted by red flags during the day, but Romain managed to overcome the stop-start test to complete a programme of tyre and aero assessments.
With several days of strong testing for the team, the Frenchman was able to run an afternoon race simulation that rounded off the first Barcelona tests.
The morning followed a similar pattern as Pastor Maldonado’s the day before, as the E23 was once again fitted with the aero evaluation equipment that characterised yesterday’s early morning running.
With the morning’s work complete, Romain put his foot down in the afternoon and ensured a repeat showing of the E23’s pace.
“It was great to get behind the wheel of the E23 once more,” he said. “We made some good improvements with the balance and set-up over the course of the day and it felt a lot better after we made changes for the afternoon. We completed a very promising mileage and it’s always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors, even if it is far too early to know what everyone else is doing.”
All three drivers have tasted the car’s potential in Barcelona and Technical Director Nick Chester was pleased with the final day’s work.
“It was good to have Romain in the car so we could add his feedback to that we’ve already received here from Pastor and Jolyon,” he said. “Today was particularly windy, making it harder to work on car balance assessments, but we conducted a productive race simulation in the afternoon as well as other performance evaluations.”
Reflecting on a four day testing period that’s seen the Enstone team top the times on three, Chester was encouraged by the E23's performance.
“We’ve enjoyed a solid first test in Barcelona with good reliability and encouraging performance,” he said. “The biggest positive we have seen so far is the reliability of the E23 which is enabling us to push along with our assessments and evaluations over the course of 361 laps or 1680km.”
Test action will be resumed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the next four-day test commencing Thursday February 26 with Romain driving on the first and third day and Pastor in action on days two and four.