Lotus left with 'a lot of unknowns' after tests
2 March 2014 – Lotus says it has been left with "a lot of unknowns" ahead of the 2014 Formula 1 season, after two troublesome tests in Bahrain.
Having skipped the first test at Jerez, the Enstone-based outfit had attempted to pack its pre-season programme into just eight days.
But the E22 regularly hit technical trouble at the Sakhir circuit, with the team ending early on the final four days of this week's gathering.
"We've ended our pre-season test programme with a lot of unknowns and a full workload for the days ahead," reflected Alan Permane, Lotus's Trackside Operations Director, in the Sakhir paddock on Sunday evening.
"We're all focused, both at Enstone and [the Renault facility] in Viry-Châtillon, on analysing all the data we have gained to make as much improvement as we can before we get to Australia for the first race of the season.
"We put some more mileage on the E22 today, but once again we stopped early. There will be some long days and nights before the first race but we are determined to make as much progress as possible."
Romain Grosjean, at the wheel for the final two days, admits that Lotus's situation is far from ideal ahead of the opening race, but the Frenchman did at least claim that minor progress was made each time the car ran.
"There is a lot of new technology for everyone to understand, but even though we have stopped many times and spent a lot of time in the garage, each time we run the car we are learning something new," he explained.
"We're all working as hard as we can in Enstone and I'm sure that Renault is doing the same.
"We now have two weeks before the first race to find a lot more performance and reliability."
Lotus finished at the bottom of the pre-season mileage charts, covering just over 1200km.