Jerez Day 0: Report from the paddock

By on Monday, February 6, 2012

Louts E20 launch at Jerez

Sunshine and mild temperatures welcomed the teams and journalists in Jerez today, the day before the cars will roar on the track. But that did not necessarily mean that it was an idle day on the circuit. The teams worked feverishly to complete the final details on the cars, which included a lot of polishing of the team trucks. Additionally, Sauber, Lotus as well as Toro Rosso used this opportunity to present their cars to the media.

Sauber were the early birds of the day. Kobayashi, Perez and Gutierrez unveiled the C31. The C31 also has one of those ugly noses but at a closer distance, it almost looks pretty. Afterwards, the three drivers, Peter Sauber, Monisha Kaltenborn and Chief Designer Matt Morris answered questions from the press. In short: the main goal for this season is to score points on a regular basis, the new tyres should be better for them than last season’s and the new car has been designed almost from scratch. Later on, Kamui Kobayashi had the chance to run several laps with the car on track for “filming purposes”.

Next team to present their new car to the media was Lotus. They installed a white dome and invited all the journalists there. The drivers unveiled the car and a Q&A session started - a pity that the microphones were not loud enough. Understanding Grosjean or d'Ambrosio was difficult enough, understanding Raikkonen… well, at least we got to know that he is less worried about the tyres now than he was a couple of weeks ago, because of what he found during the private tests in Valencia. Another high-point in the Lotus launch was Sir Jackie Stewart wearing trousers with a green Scottish tartan pattern, that made the trip to Jerez completely worth it. Later on, Raikkonen was entrusted to run the first laps of the new car on the track of the Spanish circuit and the Team Chairman, Gerard Lopez, met with the press at the team motorhome where he admitted that the buzz Raikkonen’s surrounding return to F1 has surprised them all in a very positive manner. He also said that his hopes are high that the Finn will deliver on track.

The last team to launch their car today was Scuderia Toro Rosso. Spanish TV's Nira Juanco acted as the host of a little media event where both Franz Tost and Cepsa's president Santiago Bergareche took to the microphones. Once the typical speeches were over, it was Daniel Ricciardo's and Jean-Eric Vergne's turn to unveil the car and pose in front of the photographers.

All in all, it has been a relaxed but interesting day. Tomorrow, everything will change, once the cars are on track and the teams will begin to discover if the work they have done during the winter has gone in the right direction, or not.

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