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Romain Grosjean topped the timesheets for Lotus on the second day of testing at Jerez however, it was Lewis Hamilton's 161 mph off at Turn 6 that grabbed the headlines as Mercedes misery continues.
Grosjean, whose programme included systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, evaluation of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package and tyre performance assessment, completed 95 laps, many of which dipped into the 1:18s. He ended the day with the best time set thus far this week, with no other car running under 1:19.000s. In the final minutes of the session he stopped at Turn 3 having run out of fuel.
"It was good today," said the French youngster, "the programme went to plan and we showed we have good reliability. For me, the whole test has gone well which bodes well for the year ahead. My feeling in the car is good and it was great to be at the top of the times.
"Even if it doesn't mean anything during testing, it's still good to be at the front. We used the soft, medium and hard compounds and whilst we're not 100% yet on the differences between each we have a good idea. Kimi will be working on this area for the next two days so we'll have a better understanding when we head to Barcelona. It's not easy to understand everything about the car and tyres yet, but I think we're working quite well and it's up to us to find the best solutions."
"I'm very happy with today's performance," added Trackside Operations Director, Alan Permane. "The pace looks good and we haven't had any issues with reliability meaning we could complete all of our programme without interruption. We focused on learning more about the 2013 Pirelli tyres and ran with the soft, medium and hard compounds with a variety of different set-ups, both mechanical and aerodynamic, to understand how they react. This combined with a good mileage today to give us some very good data to work through ahead of Kimi getting in the car tomorrow."
Second quickest was Paul di Resta - the Force India continuing to impress - who handed over to James Rossiter late in the afternoon. In total the British pair completed 114 laps, over 313 miles, without any significant problems.
"Another very productive day of work as we completed a similar technical programme to yesterday with aero passes, balance work and longer runs after lunch," said Jakob Andreasen, the team's Chief Race Engineer. "Paul's feedback and consistency have given us lots of direction for improving the set-up and with 114 laps completed we are gathering lots of data to continue understanding the tyres.
"We put James in the car late this afternoon to give him time to acclimatise ahead of tomorrow. He's doing a lot of simulator work for us back at the factory so it's important that he has a good understanding of the real car to be able to make a valid comparison."
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