Lotus finish impressive test

Team showed good pace and reliability in Jerez

By William Esler - Twitter @SkySportsWill.   Last Updated: 10/02/12 5:31pm

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A lock-up was a minor detail during a solid week for Lotus

A lock-up was a minor detail during a solid week for Lotus

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The newly rebranded Lotus GP team impressed during the first test of the season in Jerez.

Kimi Raikkionen made his F1 return after two years spent rallying, and showed that he still has what it takes to compete at the top, lighting up the timing screens on the opening days.

Romain Grosjean, also making a return to the sport, showed good pace as he completed over 200 laps on the final two days.

And the reigning GP2 champion was happy with how his part in the test progressed.

Grosjean said: "Everything is feeling good. This morning we tried a number of different things on the car, including my first run on the soft tyre.

"In the afternoon we tried longer runs. Once it warmed up, the track temperature was hotter than yesterday which helps our understanding of the E20 in different conditions.

"I'm really enjoying being in the car even though it is hard work. So far my fitness has been good, my neck's not too bad, but we'll see how it feels tomorrow! I think everyone will benefit from next week away from the circuit so we can reflect on the data then go to Barcelona with some new parts for the car. I can't wait."

Team Principal Eric Boullier was also happy as the team look to close the gap on Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull in 2012.

He added: "This was a very positive test for us. Kimi and Romain both did great jobs in the car. The E20 has been reliable straight out of the box.

"We were not in Jerez to chase fast lap times, but of course it's always good to show strong pace.

"Of course, it is very early days; Melbourne is one month away and that is when we will see where we are. The E20 looks good out on track, it's a nice shape and it's very well finished which is a credit to everyone at Enstone."

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