Lotus: A lot more pace to come from us
25 February 2014 – Lotus F1 technical director Nick Chester has said the Enstone-based outfit is making 'strong progress' and that there is a lot more pace to be found in the team’s new 2014 F1 car, the E22.
Lotus was the only team not to take in the first pre-season test in Jerez, but after finishing in Bahrain last week on a relative high with Pastor Maldonado doing a good amount of laps on Saturday, the squad is optimistic that it can continue to run at the front this year and hopefully once again challenge for wins.
“We started slowly but we’re making strong progress. Certainly, we started from a position very far from where we want to be,” Chester told the team’s official website. “On the first day [of the Bahrain test] we completed a mere seven laps, then 18, then next 26 and 59 by the final day so we are heading in the right direction in terms of track time, and time on the track is what we need to understand and develop the car.”
“There is still a lot of pace to be found from the E22,” he confirmed. “We’re working with Renault Sport F1 on the operation of the power unit, we only ran the power unit at representative power levels during the last day of the test and there is more time to come from optimising power delivery and allowing the drivers more time to get used to it. We haven’t started looking at car setup yet which will unlock more performance.”
Asked what the plan is now for the second Bahrain test, the final one before the opening race in Australia, he replied: “Hopefully more laps. We’ve identified a number of issues which emerged at the first test and we’ve rectified them. For the second test we want to move on to better understanding progress made on the drive-train and start working on setup of the car as well as race and qualifying simulations.”
“We certainly have a reasonable amount of bits to bolt to the car [as well]. These will be both modified and new parts based on the lessons learnt in the first Bahrain test and also parts related to the ongoing development programme,” he concluded.