Lotus doubts revival possible until Spain
24 March 2014 – Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester has warned that the Enstone-based outfit may not be in a position to be competitive until Formula 1 returns to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
Lotus endured a troubled weekend in Australia as neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado raced inside the top 10 nor made the finish.
Chester insists that the E22 has potential but warns that such pace may not be evident for several weeks.
"We know that there is good potential with the E22 and we need to get the whole package operating properly," he said. "The lack of mileage meant that we encountered problems that would normally have been resolved prior to the first race. Some issues we confronted were associated with software, the fixes for which can be quite time consuming.
"Worse than that, they can be time consuming at the most inopportune times over a race weekend. That said, we left Australia with some key directions including a deeper understanding of the energy management and how we need to optimise it."
Chester says that there will be 'small steps' for Lotus at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix but is wary of the challenge ahead.
"It is difficult to make a strong prediction after the weekend we have just had in Australia, especially with the limited mileage under our belt," he said of Lotus's hopes for Sepang. "I'm certainly hoping for an improvement for Malaysia and then some more in Bahrain, although as they are back to back it is likely to be small steps.
"It may well be Barcelona before we are in a more stable position and compete at the level we want to be at. One thing's for certain, we're not sitting back; we’re pushing all the way with the focus on extracting the maximum from the E22."