Lotus expecting tough start to 2014 season
11 March 2014 – Lotus has admitted that it is expecting to experience a "difficult" start to the 2014 Formula 1 campaign.
The Enstone-based outfit finished bottom of the mileage table during the pre-season testing period, having skipped the opening Jerez gathering and endured persistent reliability issues over the eight days in Bahrain.
And team Technical Director Nick Chester says the situation is unlikely to improve in Australia and Malaysia.
"I think the first couple of races will be difficult," he said. "Hopefully when we get to race three, we'll be in a much better position. It depends really on the fixes Renault Sport are going to bring and how quickly they come in."
With the squad unable to work through race simulations and fully evaluate the new 100kg fuel limit per race, Chester admits that its testing programme will effectively carry over into the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
"There is going to be a lot to learn," he continued. "We wanted to get race distances done, practice pit-stops, fuel-saving and all the other things we'll need in a race. We're just going to have to try and pack some of that into Friday and then get ourselves ready for Sunday. But we are starting a lot further back than we'd like to be."
Chester added that Lotus will need good fortune to successfully navigate the opening event of the year.
"We've had days when parts of the power unit have been fine and something else has let us down," Chester commented. "I think we're going to need a bit of luck and all the bits to line up right for us."