Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado completed the first day of running at the Hockenheim circuit in scorching weather ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix. Both drivers completed their programmes of suspension, aerodynamic and tyre assessments, with best lap times in the afternoon session just two tenths of a second apart.
The E22 ran for the first time without the suspension hydraulically linked from front to rear. We worked on set-up and understanding the circuit with different fuel and tyre configurations. Pirelli's soft (yellow) compound tyre was used in the morning session and the soft and super soft (red) in the afternoon. Romain's car missed some time in the morning session after an issue with the rear wing DRS.
Romain Grosjean: "It wasn't the easiest of days; the performance was a bit down and I had a bit of a moment this morning when the DRS didn't close into turn two - that was quite a special feeling I can tell you! The guys did a good job to sort the rear wing and we were able to carry on in the session. The car didn't feel bad to drive today, but it's a case of unlocking the pace with the different suspension configuration. Everyone is working hard and hopefully we will gain more understanding and pace tomorrow."
Pastor Maldonado: "We didn't have a great day as we have some work to do with the suspension changes. We spent a lot of our track time evaluating how the car behaves with this new configuration. And there is margin for improvement tomorrow. The conditions were extremely hot today and anything can happen over the course of the weekend. We'll just keep a calm approach and ensure we get 100% from the car."
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "It was quite a straightforward day for us with no major issues aside for a rear wing change on Romain's car. As well as our normal assessments we have been evaluating how the car handles when running without the suspension being connected from front to rear, which means a greater amount of attention to ride heights, aero balance and a number of other elements. Aside from the rear wing change, we achieved good mileage from both cars so we have plenty of data to digest ahead of tomorrow's practice and qualifying."
Check out our Friday gallery, here.