Indian Grand Prix Practice – Lotus Renault GP

Who Let The Dogs Out – Indian GP, Friday 28 October 2011

Vitaly and Bruno made their debuts at the all-new Buddh International Circuit near Delhi where they were greeted by a dusty track and a dog. Both drivers completed good mileage without technical issues.

James Allison, Technical Director – Technical programme notes

– The track started the day very dusty and also damp in places after it had been washed.
– A dog on track brought out red flags early in the morning practice session.
– We ran hard and soft tyres in the morning session and concentrated on soft tyre runs in the afternoon including some runs.

What we learned today:

– We saw a lot of track evolution as you’d expect from a new circuit, which is still extremely dusty off the racing line.
– Our simulations proved accurate with regards to wing levels and gearing.
– The soft tyre provides good grip with reasonable life and low degradation as it is a very usable race tyre.
– The hard tyre is considerably slower that the soft and is unlikely to be favoured in the race.

Bruno Senna, R31-04
Free practice 1: P13, 1:29.799, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:27.498, 36 laps

Bruno: “I enjoyed today. Both LRGP cars were in the positions they should be and the track looks like it could be an ally for our car. We need to develop and extract more from the set-up, but we definitely have potential here. The track is very good, that’s for sure. When I walked it yesterday it was clear it was going to be very dusty, and that was also the case this morning, but it is improving all the time. The corners are very fast and they encourage you to push, push, push so I think we can have a good weekend here. As the grip to improves and the racing line widens we should be able to push even harder!”

Vitaly Petrov, R31-06
Free practice 1: P12, 1:29.005, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P11, 1:27.890, 37 laps

Vitaly: “The track was very dirty which makes it difficult to get the maximum from the car but it’s the same for everyone. We completed today’s programme without any mechanical problems which is always beneficial. I am feeling positive about the car and the set-up; we just need to improve a little but we have potential for a good weekend. The layout of the circuit is quite tricky. On some corners you can’t see the apex which makes it difficult to find your braking point and turning in point. But we’ve found more or less a good line and hopefully we’ll gain some more speed through P3 tomorrow morning before qualifying.”