Love at First Feel – 2015 Australian GP, Friday

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado commenced the start of the 2015 FIA Formula 1 World Championship firmly in the top ten after a strong start to the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. Pastor ended the day as the eighth fastest driver whilst Romain was ninth quickest.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes

We assessed new floors on both cars as well as various other aero updates, with a focus on aero evaluations in the first session.
The second session was predominantly focused on tyre evaluations.
Pirelli’s medium (white) compound tyre was used in the first session, the medium and soft (yellow) in the afternoon.

What we learned today:

The E23 has demonstrated promising potential during its first Grand Prix event outing of 2015

Romain Grosjean, E23-02
Free practice 1: P16 2:17.782, 5 laps
Free practice 2: P9, 1:30.205, 37 laps

Romain: “It feels great to get out on track and get some laps at Albert Park, especially with such a lovely day here. I was happy not just for the weather as the car feels pretty good and the whole team is very positive at the potential we have. Certainly missing much of the first session was not to plan, but we know the issue and I’ve every confidence we’ll have it sorted for tomorrow. It’s the kind of thing you encounter in the early season. The big plus is the car feels good and I think we should be able to go well this weekend.”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03
Free practice 1: P9, 1:31.451, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:30.104, 11 laps

Pastor: “I was happy with my time in the car today and the E23 feels pretty strong. For sure, we missed some of the second session, but the issue was easy to diagnose so the team is working on a solution. As always for the first day of running here, the track was improving all the time, but we were able to run good evaluations between us so we have plenty of info for building on today’s work. Our post-session debriefs have been very promising so it’s great to start the season with a real positive vibe.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “It’s been an interesting first day here at Albert Park and we’ve seen a lot of good potential from the E23. The car looks to be a big step forward from last year’s in every area and the drivers are pleased with balance and consistency of the car. We lost some running with both cars today due to the same problem which was time consuming to rectify but completed some useful setup work. We’re looking forward to building on this in FP3 and qualifying tomorrow.”