Lotus drivers pleased with practice performance

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Kimi Raikkonen is pleased with his performance in practice having finished quickest in FP2, underlining the pace of the Lotus E21 ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

“It was a pretty good day,” the Finnish driver said. “We tried changing a few things on the car and made progress with where we wanted to be at the end of the sessions. We had some running in the wet which you often get around here and the car feels fine.”

Raikkonen topped the second session ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa, and he also finished P2 in the first session, less than one-tenth behind Mark Webber. Regardless, the Lotus driver refused to make any predictions for qualifying.

“We ran pretty heavy today so I don’t know how we’ll be when everyone is light for qualifying, but I’m happy with where we are and expect we’ll be reasonable tomorrow.”

Teammate Romain Grosjean has set his sights on bettering his P10 finish in Australia, stating that he is happier with the new aerodynamic configuration of his E21.

“The new front wing does feel better than the one before so that helps. Kimi was running an updated aero package which looks to be an improvement so we know there’s more pace to come in that area.”

Grosjean also hopes that the hot and humid conditions in Malaysia will work in his favor this weekend.

“It was pretty hot out there – quite a contrast to Melbourne – but I felt comfortable and I’m looking forward to making some improvements tomorrow before we head into qualifying.”

Lotus will be keen on building upon Raikkonen’s impressive win in Australia, and if Grosjean can support his teammate throughout the season, the Enstone-based team could be in the running for the constructors’ championship come the end of the year.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)