• Bahrain Grand Prix - FP2

Lotus yet to show its hand - Allison

ESPNF1 Staff
April 20, 2012 « Red Bull not the favourite - Vettel | Ferrari won't chase track - Alonso »
Lotus is hoping its updates have the desired effect this weekend © Sutton Images
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Lotus technical director James Allison has warned against reading too much into his cars' lap times during free practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The team is confident a podium is possible this weekend, but Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen ended Friday practice in ninth and 13th. However, Allison confident those times do not represent Lotus' true pace.

"There's a pattern emerging over the first four races where it seems that the programme we run on a Friday is different from that run by other teams, so you can't draw too many conclusions merely from looking at our position on the timing monitors," he said. "The key for this weekend's race will be making the tyres work in the heat and we're encouraged by our pace using both tyres with both cars on high fuel today. We ran comparisons of our upgrade components and we have plenty of data to make an assessment."

Raikkonen explained some of the tyre comparison work Lotus had been conducting.

"The soft tyres felt better today but we have to work out which tyre will work best over a stint duration," he said. "It's too early to draw any conclusion and we have to look at the data. At the moment, it doesn't look like the difference will be night and day. The track conditions were surprisingly good straight away in first practice today, and it didn't feel like a massive difference in the second session. Hopefully the wind does not get up overnight and blow sand on to the track. Tyre degradation should be interesting. There are things you can do as a driver to minimise this, but you can do more with the set-up of the car. I hope we find a good solution."

Meanwhile, Grosjean is confident the updates to the Lotus are finally working.

"We've made a big improvement from where we were this time last week in China; I'm feeling confident on long runs and tomorrow we'll be pushing hard to get the best single lap pace as well."