Interview with Lotus' Nick Chester

Interview with Lotus' Nick Chester

5 June 2014 – Lotus F1 Team Technical Director Nick Chester looks ahead to this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix...


Nick, will Canada suit the E22?
It's probably going to be a bit of a tricky one. On the one hand we're going to have the soft and super-soft tyres, which should be better for us. On the other hand Canada's got long straights, which we feel might not be great for us. There are also some big braking points and at some races this year we have felt our braking isn't as good as it should be. So for the E22 it is a balance between performing quite well on the softer tyres and maybe losing out on power and braking. We are going to do all we can to improve those areas before we go.

Tell us more about the braking?
With such long straights followed by big stops into low speed corners, getting the braking performance right is critical in Canada. Obviously this year with all the energy recovery systems there is quite a lot of tuning that can be done to enhance performance. It's definitely an area we are looking at and we've got some things we want to test on the Friday to hopefully improve the braking.

Why did the E22 not perform in Monaco?
Honestly we expected to be pretty quick in Monaco. The bottom line is that we were off the pace in the low-speed corners. So we feel we were losing out on mechanical grip, which may be a function of suspension - including how the car rides over any bumps - or of us not getting the tyres in the right operating window. Part of our response has been to do work on the suspension rigs before we go to Canada, to see if we can rectify this.

How much do aerodynamics play a part in low-speed corners?
In low-speed corners you still need to be generating sensible downforce on the car. Even though you're not going to feel it as much as the medium and high-speed corners it still plays a part. The conditions that the car operates in for downforce in low speed corners are quite different to medium and high-speed corners. For example the ride height is different, the steering, the yaw angle. So it can be that you lose some downforce in a low-speed corner, but when the car has less steering, less yaw and different ride heights it is better in the medium and high-speed corners. There are a few areas that can cost you in low-speed corners and rest assured we are looking at all of them!

Did the weather at Monaco have an impact?
It was a bit cooler on race day, but in qualifying the track temperature was quite good and we were not quick enough. So I don't think the weather had a huge effect in terms of our issues.

What happened to Pastor [Maldonado]'s car?
The fuel pump stopped working. It worked initially on the way to the grid but when they tried to fire the car up again the pump stopped. We are still investigating to be absolutely sure, but we are confident we know what the problem is. It is unrelated to the power unit.

What new parts are planned for Montreal?
There's a new medium downforce package and we've also got a few new mechanical parts, one of which will hopefully improve the grip of the chassis. There's also a small update to the cooling package which will give us a little more downforce.

How about the power unit?
We will continue to run with the latest fuel from Total as we did in Monaco so many power unit improvements will be focussed around modifying the mapping to get the most from this specification fuel. Mapping has brought significant progress this season.

How do you manage some of the technical frustrations in relation to the drivers?
To be honest both our drivers are now sufficiently experienced not to let frustrations impact upon their performance. Both Romain [Grosjean] and Pastor have been extremely professional as you would expect and can see that the team and our suppliers are all pulling in the same direction. Pastor has gone through two races this season where he has not started, which has to be one of the toughest things a driver can go through. His resolve and fighting instinct have been notable. Romain has shown incredible spirit and fortitude as well. His performance in all the races have been fantastic, especially considering the relative lack of mileage in the first four races.

Canada has historically been an unpredictable race. Will Romain and Pastor be in a good position to take advantage should it be so again this year?
That is the plan, yes. There can be a lot of variables at Montreal like rain, reliability and incidents. Romain and Pastor are exactly the kind of drivers you want on your side to exploit any opportunities. However, we hope to be able to challenge for a good points finish irrespective of any of these variables. 

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 4 September 2015

  2. Evans excluded from GP2 qualifying 21:00

    Evans excluded from GP2 qualifying

    Mitch Evans has been stripped of his front row slot for the GP2 Feature Race at Monza after it was discovered that the tyre…

    GP2
  3. 17:22

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday at Monza

    F1
  4. Vettel: Ferrari 'quite far away' from Mercedes 17:05

    Vettel: Ferrari 'quite far away' from Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel has conceded that Ferrari is "quite far away" from Mercedes at the Italian Grand Prix after the opening pair of…

    F1
  5. Force India duo expect rival improvements 16:48

    Force India duo expect rival improvements

    Force India drivers Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg are wary of rival improvements after displaying impressive pace during…

    F1
  6. Boullier: McLaren 'intends' to keep Button 16:19

    Boullier: McLaren 'intends' to keep Button

    Eric Boullier says that McLaren "intends" to retain Jenson Button alongside Fernando Alonso next season, but also place Stoffel…

    F1
  7. Hamilton backs 'more sensible' tyre guidelines 15:47

    Hamilton backs 'more sensible' tyre guidelines

    Lewis Hamilton believes that Pirelli's altered tyre guidelines for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix are "much more sensible…

    F1
  8. 15:34

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Monza

    GP2
  9. Gasly sweeps to maiden GP2 pole position 15:31

    Gasly sweeps to maiden GP2 pole position

    Red Bull protégé Pierre Gasly claimed his maiden GP2 pole position for this weekend's round of the championship at…

    GP2
  10. Red Bull engine penalties reach 40 places 15:06

    Red Bull engine penalties reach 40 places

    Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are facing significant grid penalties at the Italian Grand Prix after taking…

    F1
  11. 14:36

    Italian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  12. Hamilton remains on top in second practice 14:33

    Hamilton remains on top in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton edged out team-mate Nico Rosberg as Mercedes remained comfortably fastest during second practice for the Italian…

    F1
  13. 12:51

    Follow second practice for the Italian GP!

    F1
  14. Hamilton wary of Red Bull/Mercedes tie-up 12:32

    Hamilton wary of Red Bull/Mercedes tie-up

    Lewis Hamilton has warned Mercedes against supplying Red Bull with power units, should the latter end its long-standing…

    F1
  15. 10:42

    Italian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  16. Hamilton, Mercedes dominate first practice 10:33

    Hamilton, Mercedes dominate first practice

    Lewis Hamilton led team-mate Nico Rosberg as Mercedes dominated first practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, while…

    F1
  17. 08:48

    Follow first practice for the Italian GP!

    F1
  18. Ecclestone backs Pirelli over tyres 08:44

    Ecclestone backs Pirelli over tyres

    Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management have expressed support to Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli in the wake of the…

    F1
  19. Video of the Day: Vettel visits Brembo HQ 05:22

    Video of the Day: Vettel visits Brembo HQ

    Sebastian Vettel visited Brembo's Italian headquarters to celebrate the brand's 40th year in Formula 1.

    F1
  20. Thursday 3 September 2015

  21. GP3 Series unveils new-for-2016 car 17:46

    GP3 Series unveils new-for-2016 car

    GP3 has unveiled its third generation car which will be introduced at the start of the 2016 season. The championship has used…

    GP3
  22. 17:03

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations at Monza

    F1
  23. Vettel still wants answers from Pirelli 16:38

    Vettel still wants answers from Pirelli

    Sebastian Vettel has praised Pirelli for its "professional" response to the tyre failures suffered at the Belgian Grand Prix…

    F1
  24. Van Buuren and Binder join MP Motorsport 14:24

    Van Buuren and Binder join MP Motorsport

    Meindert van Buuren and René Binder will comprise the driver line-up for MP Motorsport at this weekend's round of the GP2…

    GP2
  25. Pirelli presents Belgian GP conclusions 13:54

    Pirelli presents Belgian GP conclusions

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has presented its conclusions following a detailed investigation into the two separate tyre…

    F1
  26. Further engine penalties for McLaren pair 13:29

    Further engine penalties for McLaren pair

    McLaren-Honda drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are set endure further grid penalties at the Italian Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  27. Pérez expects new Force India deal 'soon' 12:03

    Pérez expects new Force India deal 'soon'

    Sergio Pérez says it is his intention to remain as a Force India driver next season, and expects a fresh deal to be announced…

    F1
  28. Cecotto Jr. makes Trident GP2 return 11:02

    Cecotto Jr. makes Trident GP2 return

    Johnny Cecotto Jr. will make a return to the GP2 Series this weekend alongside Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello at…

    GP2
  29. 10:42

    Formula 1 2016: Driver line-ups so far

    F1
  30. Williams boosted by line-up stability 10:38

    Williams boosted by line-up stability

    Sir Frank Williams says his eponymous team is in a "fantastic position" ahead of the 2016 season, thanks to the stability of…

    F1
  31. Williams keeps Massa, Bottas for 2016 10:01

    Williams keeps Massa, Bottas for 2016

    Williams will continue with an unchanged driver line-up of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for the 2016 season, the pair…

    F1
  32. Trummer re-joins Hilmer for Monza 09:06

    Trummer re-joins Hilmer for Monza

    Simon Trummer will make a return to the GP2 Series with Hilmer Motorsport for this weekend's round at Monza. Trummer, who…

    GP2
  33. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Monza preview 05:26

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Monza preview

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Lewis Hamilton looks ahead to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

    F1
  34. Wednesday 2 September 2015

  35. Video: Toro Rosso duo play word tennis 14:35

    Video: Toro Rosso duo play word tennis

    Toro Rosso youngsters Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen play word tennis ahead of the Italian GP.

    F1
  36. Renault confident over power unit performance 13:40

    Renault confident over power unit performance

    Renault Director of Operations Rémi Taffin says that the power unit supplier can head into this weekend's Italian Grand Prix…

    F1
  37. Williams targets Monza podium repeat 12:24

    Williams targets Monza podium repeat

    Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley believes that there is no reason why the squad cannot target a repeat of its…

    F1
  38. Honda braced for 'big challenge' at Monza 10:32

    Honda braced for 'big challenge' at Monza

    McLaren's engine supplier Honda says it is braced for a "big challenge" at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, due to the…

    F1
  39. Preview: Five key questions for Italy 09:35

    Preview: Five key questions for Italy

    Formula 1 heads to the historic Monza circuit this weekend to signal the end of the European part of the 2015 season. Here…

    F1
  40. Mardenborough steps up to GP2 with Carlin 09:13

    Mardenborough steps up to GP2 with Carlin

    British driver Jann Mardenborough will make his GP2 Series debut with Carlin at this weekend's round of the championship at…

    GP2
  41. Armand to make Pons return at Silverstone 08:24

    Armand to make Pons return at Silverstone

    Philo Paz Armand is set to make his return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Silverstone this weekend. Armand, a rookie in…

    FR 3.5
  42. Factfile: The 2015 Italian Grand Prix 07:43

    Factfile: The 2015 Italian Grand Prix

    Formula 1's European leg comes to an end with this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Ahead of the event at the Autodromo Nazionale…

    F1
  43. Video of the Day: Vettel's Monza preview 05:26

    Video of the Day: Vettel's Monza preview

    Quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to his first Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver.

    F1
more news