Abu Dhabi, U.A.E 16th November 2010

The sound of Formula One™ engines returned to Abu Dhabi today as Lotus Racing’s young driver test began with Venezuela’s Rodolfo González at the wheel of chassis T127-03. After a full day in the cockpit Rodolfo completed 83 laps with a best time of 1.44.924.

Rodolfo González: “What an incredible day. As I pulled out for my first lap I could not believe I was finally at the wheel of a Formula One™ car. Since I started karting at the age of five it has been my dream to get behind the wheel of an F1™ car and today it came true. It has been 18 years of hard work and sacrifice to reach this point and I want to say thank you to Lotus Racing for giving me this opportunity. I have been preparing for today for a long time and even though I completed 83 laps to be honest I am surprised I lasted that long – after 30 laps I was already feeling it and by the 82nd lap my neck was beginning to suffer so I thought it was time to stop. That is normal for anyone who makes the step up to F1™ but I am really pleased with how the whole day went.

“Since I arrived here the whole team has been just great. They have all given me real confidence and said I did not have to try to impress anybody, you have already impressed people anyway so just do a good steady job and you will be fine. Mike Gascoyne told me today was not about proving I am ready for F1, but it would show if I am not ready so I just wanted to do the most intelligent job I could. I have learnt a huge amount over the last couple of days and tomorrow I hope I can continue to progress on track and put in another good performance.”

Jody Egginton, Chief Race Engineer: “Rodolfo did a good job for us today. He gave good, clear feedback, took a measured approach and spent the right amount of time learning his way around the car. This morning he drove steadily and started picking his pace up this afternoon when we moved to some more performance biased runs. The fuel loads and setups he was running would compare with a normal Friday at a race weekend, so he had the experience of both high and low fuel and a range of run types. He worked well with the engineers all day and studied the data in depth so I think for his first time in an F1™ car he has done a pretty decent job overall.”


Abu Dhabi, U.A.E 17th November 2010

Day two of the Abu Dhabi young driver test for Lotus Racing started with Rodolfo González back at the wheel of chassis T127-03, and Bulgaria’s Vladimir Arabadzhiev in the seat for the afternoon session. In the morning Rodolfo completed 44 laps with a best time of 1.44.312 and in the afternoon Vladimir ran for 49 laps, recording a quickest time of 1.45.723.

Rodolfo González: “It was good make some more progress today and I was getting quicker every time I went out on track. I was still running with a reasonable amount of fuel and I’m happy with the job I did today as I think I reacted well to the changes that we made, and the instructions I was given by the team. I want also to say thank you again to Lotus Racing for giving me this opportunity. I have really enjoyed it and have definitely learnt a huge amount over the last few days.”

Vladimir Arabadzhiev: “First of all I want to say thank you for this great opportunity which Lotus Racing gave me. It was an unbelievable experience to drive an F1™ car – the first time I went out was just fantastic. The feeling of the acceleration and the braking are phenomenal and I enjoyed every second. Unfortunately I only had half a day in the car which isn’t quite enough time to really start building up experience, but I still think I did quite well with the laps I had and with the red flags we had in the session. Quite often people try too hard to impress in these sorts of sessions, pushing too hard and making mistakes, and I’m glad I didn’t do that. Finally, the whole experience today was just great – seeing how such a well organised team like Lotus Racing works has been amazing and thanks to everyone again for making it such a good day.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Firstly we would like to thank both Rodolfo and Vladimir for doing such a good job for us in their first time in a Formula One™ car. Their input with the team has been exactly what we wanted and they have both done a fantastic job working exactly to the programme we set them. Most importantly neither driver made any mistakes and they both gave us very impressive feedback which is what we need from them in this type of test.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bridgestone on their last day of running with us. They have been an incredibly important partner of ours this year as we brought Lotus back to Formula One™ and we have all enjoyed working with them throughout this season. Whatever the future holds for Bridgestone in motorsport we look forward to working with them again one day and wish them the very best of luck in all their future endeavours, on and off track.”

Want Lotus news updates in your inbox? (It’s Free)

Leave your comment below...