British Grand Prix Practice – Lotus Renault GP
Why does it always rain on me? – British GP, Friday 08 July 2011
Nick and Vitaly kicked their British Grand Prix weekend off with Friday’s FP1 and FP2 sessions at a rain-lashed Silverstone.
James Allison, Technical Director – Technical programme notes
• The track was too wet to use for some of the first session and most of the second.
• We used full wet and intermediate tyres in both sessions.
• The variable conditions were very difficult for evaluations.
What we learned today:
• Our car was not competitive in conditions like we saw today.
• We are analysing the data, but it is difficult to say if our relative lack of performance stems from our car simply being slower in the wet – as it was on both wet tyres in wet conditions in Canada – or related to the new engine mapping rules.
• One of our newer rear wings loses downforce when cornering in the wet so we will revert to a tried and tested rear wing.
• We seem to have difficulties getting the wet and intermediate tyres up to their working temperatures in these conditions and we have been looking at set-up changes to improve this.
Nick Heidfeld, R31-04
Free practice 1: P16, 1:48.941, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P16, 1:54.023, 8 laps
Nick: “It was a typical English Silverstone weather to start the weekend, but the positive is that the weather forecast says it will be drier on Sunday. I think that the drier weather will certainly suit our car more as today we were not competitive in the morning or the afternoon sessions. Practice like we saw today is very difficult as the conditions are not consistent so it is difficult to test and evaluate parts and set-up. We did run the wets against the intermediates and tried some small set-up changes. This was my first time on the new layout and my impressions so far are that I preferred the old one. I’m looking forward to driving the new layout in dry conditions, which will hopefully be the case tomorrow.”
Vitaly Petrov, R31-05
Free practice 1: P17, 1:49.603, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:52.198, 9 laps
Vitaly: ““Today was challenging, to say the least, and it was obviously frustrating not to get many laps out there, especially in the second session when I only managed nine. There’s not much you can do about those conditions – it’s the same for all of the teams! It was useful to get some more time on both the extreme wets and the intermediates, though and I’m looking forward to making more ground tomorrow when hopefully the weather will be kinder to us. I’m still optimistic about this weekend.”