Canadian Grand Prix Practice – Lotus Renault GP

Band on the run – Canadian GP, Friday 10 June 2011

With the 2011 F1 season taking a pit stop in North America for the Canadian GP, Nick and Vitaly got their first Practice session underway at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit.

What we learned today:

  • After running both soft and supersoft compounds, it is clear that the latter has similar balance and better grip.
  • The track cleaned quite quickly this morning, which helped both cars achieve fast lap times in hot conditions. However, the temperature is expected to drop significantly tomorrow with some cloud cover, which could have an effect.
  • LRGP’s two different Canada-specific rear wing specifications were run on both cars and the data will be analysed to learn more about their impact.

Alan Permane, Chief Engineer – Technical programme notes

  • Montreal is a track that can be heavy on the brakes so today saw a large part of the first session devoted to examining this. This included driving on high fuel, with some long runs.
  • Pirelli’s soft and supersoft tyre compounds were run effectively, with no major issues reported in P1 or P2.
  • We used flow-viz paint this morning in order to assess our new rear wing.
  • Vitaly lost some track time in the morning but it did not affect his weekend preparations, as he was able to complete a lot of laps in P2.

Nick Heidfeld, R31-04
Free Practice 1: P9, 1:17.445, 28 laps
Free practice 2: P9, 1:16.422, 32 laps

Nick: “A busy Friday, but with no drama from our side. We’ve been able to assess both types of compounds and there were no surprises on that front, although we still need to improve the balance of the car with the softer compound. Also, the new rear wing and DRS system seemed to be performing well. The only bad news is that I’ve been unable to make any long run this afternoon because of the red flags. Although it has improved since this morning, the track remains slippery, and a few of people have been caught out by these tricky conditions. Finally, the next two days should be cooler; we are also expecting some rain, so we’ll have to remain really flexible during the weekend. It’s been good to see many fans in the grandstands on a Friday – it almost felt like a race day.”

Vitaly Petrov, R31-05
Free Practice 1: P14, 1:18.506, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:16.324, 32 laps

Vitaly: “It was frustrating not to get many laps during the first practice session; to start with, my car radio needed to be rectified, then the throttle pedal had to be replaced. With the red flag out there, my time was even more limited. However, I managed to get some good laps in the second session and found the supersoft tyres had a little more grip. I was pleased with P2 because we achieved all that we were planning to achieve. We found a good balance with the car and did some long distance runs, so all in all I think it was a satisfying day’s work. One thing we should consider is that the track will evolve over the weekend, so things can change over the next day or two.”

Did you know?
When driving for BMW Sauber in 2008, Nick finished in second place here behind then team mate Robert Kubica. He also finished second in 2007 behind Lewis Hamilton.