Lotus F1 Team carried out a limited Friday programme at Suzuka ahead of the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix as the rain disrupted their usual schedule.
Jolyon Palmer once again headed out for FP1 but only completed one installation lap, “That was a pretty good first installation lap at Suzuka!” said Palmer after the session. “Seriously, conditions were very slippery and there was no point risking the car which is why myself and Pastor just completed a single lap before parking for the rest of the session. Of course it’s frustrating not to get more laps in, but you can’t change the weather.”
Romain Grosjean took over driving duties for the second session as the rain eased off, despite the weather improving the team were still forced to run intermediate tyres, with Grosjean completing a total of six laps.
“We went out and validated that it was wet and slippery then I sat out most of the session as there’s not much to be learn in conditions like we saw today” said the Frenchman. “The car felt okay, but it’s not the time to take risks. Tomorrow will be interesting as we think it should be dry, we have a lot of tyres available and a lot of work to be done.”
Pastor Maldonado completed a total of eight laps over the two sessions and admitted there was little to be learnt from the wet running, “A wet Suzuka circuit is a fun place to be, but there’s no point risking the car when there’s not much to be learnt so most of the sessions were spend in the garage. We think the rest of the weekend will be dry, but the car felt pretty stable if we do see rain again.”
Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane added “It was a day of persistent rain at Suzuka so we only ran installation laps in the morning then a handful of laps in the afternoon. We used both the wet and intermediate tyres, but haven’t touched our dry tyre allocation.
“The current prediction is for it to be dry for the rest of the weekend, but we’re monitoring this closely. Both cars and all three drivers did everything they needed to today.”