The 4.7km Circuit de Catalunya played host to the third and final pre-season test last week, and despite a few glitches here and there, Lotus F1 Team rounded off the winter schedule with an encouraging performance.
The atmosphere throughout the paddock was noticeably tense in comparison to the preceding sessions this year, as each team sought to garner every last piece of data available before the opening race in Australia.
A good helping of fans turned out to catch a glimpse of their heroes in action, with a smattering of French and Finnish flags draped from the balconies in support of the Lotus F1 Team drivers as they took to the track.
The event kicked off on Thursday morning at 09:00 local time, with Romain and the E20 proving to be the pick of the bunch when the chequered flag dropped, setting the fastest time in glorious sunshine at the Spanish venue.
It was much the same story on Friday, as the Frenchman not only repeated his table topping performance but also completed a full race simulation in the afternoon, demonstrating good levels of endurance from both himself and the car on another decidedly summer-like day.
Unfortunately for Kimi the trouble-free opening to the week was not to last, as steering issues hampered his running on the Saturday morning, and a rain-hit afternoon compounded what proved to be the least productive day for the team.
However, at the wheel of a rejuvenated E20 during the final session on Sunday the Finn showed his class, completing an impressive 121 laps (including a race simulation) and clinching the fastest time set by any driver throughout the two weeks of testing in Barcelona this year.
Meanwhile the rest of the team were running at the same flat out pace as the drivers, with a whole host of guests taking in the Formula 1 experience in the motorhome and garage. Keeping the world’s media satisfied with a barrage of interviews and filming sessions was also high on the agenda, as reporters from across the globe amassed to catch a few words with the crème de la crème of driving talent.
As always the hospitality in the team facilities was first class, while the engineers and mechanics were in their usual dedicated form, working round the clock to ensure that the Kimi and Romain could extract the most from the E20.
Next stop: Australia, where the talking stops and the real action begins. The race weekend gets underway with free practise one and two on Friday 16th March, followed by qualifying on Saturday 17th and the race on Sunday 18th.