Lotus F1 Team’s 2015 challenger, the E23 Hybrid, took to the track for the first time today, completing its first shakedown lap followed by installation and functionality checks. Pastor Maldonado completed the car’s first day of running and will remain in the car for tomorrow’s programme.
Track: Circuito de Jerez, Spain, 4.4km
Weather: Cold and cloudy with mid-afternoon rain, air 4-14°C, track: 5-15°C
Programme: Initial shakedown, installation and functionality checks
Laps Completed: 41
Classification: P6, 1:25.802
Interruptions: Day’s running stopped early due to drivetrain issue.
Pastor Maldonado will drive tomorrow to continue with the team’s pre-season test programme.
“It was fantastic to get behind the wheel for the first ever lap of this exciting new car. Even though it’s early days we achieved a lot today. It was already exciting to feel the potential of the car and I can’t wait to get back in the car tomorrow. We did stop running early, but then it started to rain so everyone else came in too so it was not a big drama. The car certainly looks fantastic and I know we have a lot of potential for the season ahead.”
Nick Chester, Technical Director:
“Seeing the E23 Hybrid on track for the first time was very satisfying and we owe a great deal of thanks to everyone at Enstone and everyone here at the circuit for the long hours which have been put in recently. We also say thank you to our partners and suppliers for assisting us with what has been a very ambitious build programme. We had predicted that we’d probably just be able to complete a couple of shakedown laps today, but thanks to some fantastic work overnight we were able to run the car from this morning. The feedback from Pastor has been positive at what is a very early stage in the car’s test programme. We had a drivetrain issue this afternoon, but didn’t lose out on too much running as it started raining shortly afterwards. We can’t wait to get back out on track tomorrow.”