Lotus F1 rounds off in style with Kimi on top

Kimi set the fastest time recorded at the Circuit de Catalunya so far this year, and completing the day’s highest number of laps in the process

A bright start to the day was overshadowed with a late drizzle, but this did little to dampen the spirits in the Lotus F1 Team garage as Kimi set a time of 1:22.030 just as the chequered flag dropped before lunch - a benchmark which would remain unbeaten for the remainder of the session.

More significantly, the Finn completed 121 laps of the 4.7km circuit which included a race simulation, complete with pit stops. Kimi was pleased to gain a good day’s running in the E20, and in particular with the positive reaction the car gave to setup changes throughout the day:

"I was happy with today’s running. We didn’t have any major issues so it was certainly better than yesterday. Everything worked, we tried a lot of set-ups on the car and it all came together well. I spent a long time in the car but I feel fine. It was also cooler today so the tyres didn’t work as well but everything was okay."

All the changes we have made over testing have been improving the car

"Of course, the fastest time at the end of the day looks good but no-one will know how fast any of the cars are until we get to qualifying at Albert Park. All the changes we have made over testing have been improving the car, so we’ll have to see what happens in Melbourne in a couple of weeks’ time. I’m feeling positive."

Lotus F1 Team will be back in action at the season opener in Australia. The race weekend kicks off with free practice one and two on Friday 16th March, followed by qualifying on Saturday 17th and the race on Sunday 18th.

Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:   "I was happy with today's running. We didn't have any major issues so   it was certainly better than yesterday. Everything worked, we tried alot of set-ups on the car and it all came together well. It was a longtime in the car today but I feel fine. It was cooler today so the tyres   didn't work as well as otherwise but everything was okay. Of course,   the fastest time at the end of the day looks good but no-one will know   how fast any of the cars are until we get to qualifying at Albert Park.   All the changes we have made over testing have been improving the car,   so we'll have to see what happens in Melbourne in a couple of weeks'   time. I'm feeling positive."   Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:   "We've had a good, productive day to conclude our pre-season test   programme. After the interruptions of yesterday we made some set-up   changes overnight which immediately made Kimi feel more comfortable in   the car as the balance was much more to his liking. We then spent the   rest of the morning running on medium and then soft tyres, steadily   improving the car. Despite having missed a test we are in good shape   heading to Melbourne. We've completed two race distances and the E20   has proved reliable, easy to set-up and predictable in its handling   with both drivers reporting they are happy."   Eric Boullier,Team Principal:   "After the disappointment of last week, this test was crucial and I   think we did a good job. First of all, we've been able to confirm that   the changes made to the car fixed our front suspension problems. We   were confident that the redesign was well conceived and well executed,   but we have demonstrated the integrity of the modified part. It is a   tribute to the all team, which has been working amazingly hard over the   last few days in order to fly the E20 on time to Barcelona. Despite the   rain and a few technical glitches, we managed to learn more about the   new car. We now have a better understanding of it, and have a few   positive setup directions that we can take further. Moreover, both   drivers seem happy with the balance and tyre degradation. We are   cautiously optimistic for the future and now looking forward to   Melbourne."

 1.  Raikkonen      Lotus           1m22.030s           121 laps 2.  Alonso         Ferrari         1m22.250s  +0.220   115 3.  Senna          Williams        1m22.296s  +0.266   53 4.  Hulkenberg     Force India     1m22.312s  +0.282   101 5.  Kobayashi      Sauber          1m22.386s  +0.356   72 6.  Hamilton       McLaren         1m22.430s  +0.400   115 7.  Petrov         Caterham        1m22.795s  +0.765   101 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes        1m22.939s  +0.909   100 9.  Maldonado      Williams        1m23.347s  +1.317   4810.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso      1m23.393s  +1.363   10011.  Vettel         Red Bull        1m23.608s  +1.578   23

Click here for the Official Kimi Raikkonen web site - designed and built by Racecar