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Grosjean and Kobayashi top timesheets on second day

NEWS STORY
02/05/2012

Having set the pace for much of the second day at Mugello, Lotus' Romain Grosjean was joined at the head of the timesheets by Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi as the two posted identical times.

Having radically changed its programme due to yesterday's weather - to the extent that Kimi Raikkonen will no longer be taking part in the week's running - Lotus made full use of Grosjean as it focussed on aerodynamics, setups, high and medium fuel runs, data collection and correlation.

"Romain was very happy with the car straight away," said Alan Permane. "We made a couple of minor balance adjustments to fine tune it for him after Jerome's running yesterday and then went into our test programme. Today we were concentrating on different suspension setups, so we had a fairly major change over lunch which took a couple of hours.

"We've got some good data from this which we'll need to sit down and assess tonight to decide what our strategy will be for tomorrow," he continued, "i.e. whether we re-test or stick with what we've got. The car is working very well here; we've run a variety of medium and high fuel loads as we would at a race weekend to assess the effects of the suspension change, and we're pleased with what we've seen. Overall, a positive day."

"It's always good to end the day on top," added Grosjean, "but we have to remember that in testing lap times mean very little. Having said that, the car felt great and I was very comfortable from the start. This test gives us an opportunity to try things that we wouldn't have time to do during a race weekend, so hopefully it'll help us to keep pushing forward. We've done a lot of setup work today, and for sure we'll need to take some time to look through all the data and analyse what we need to focus on tomorrow, but it's a good baseline for the final day."

After yesterday's limited running, Sauber, like its many rivals, had a huge programme to get through. Kobayashi began the morning session with some installation laps, followed by various runs to take measurements. While the track was still drying from overnight rain he started to work on the set-up, the engineers announcing themselves pretty happy with how this went, as the car with the new aero package reacted as it should. Further checks of the new body work and cooling were next on the list to be ticked off, and some brake testing was also done before the lunch break.

In the afternoon the Japanese driver was busy with further aero checks when it became very windy and led to the car having a tricky shifting balance. At 16:00 however, Kobayashi had an off in turn 12 which cost about an hour of track time. After this he joined the session again for some runs on the harder tyre compound and, finally, on a set of new soft tyres with which he set his best time of the day.

A lot more was learnt about the new aero package today. Tomorrow Sergio Perez will take over driving duties.

Both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were in the car for Red Bull. In the morning the Australian caught up on the items carried over from yesterday's programme and focused more on aerodynamic tests with new components, along with set-up work to maximise the benefit of those elements.

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