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 31 October 2014

  2. 22:05

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday in Austin

    F1
  3. Hamilton unconcerned by practice issues 22:04

    Hamilton unconcerned by practice issues

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has played down the issues he suffered on the opening day of practice for the United States...

    F1
  4. Caterham appeals to 'credible' parties 21:43

    Caterham appeals to 'credible' parties

    Caterham's administrators say they are holding discussions with several "credible" parties with regards to the potential...

    F1
  5. Ecclestone says grid could drop to 14 cars 21:07

    Ecclestone says grid could drop to 14 cars

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned that there could be only 14 cars on the 2015 grid as a result of the sport's...

    F1
  6. 20:41

    United States GP: Full Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  7. Hamilton stays on top in second practice 20:37

    Hamilton stays on top in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton remained at the top of the timesheets during second practice for the United States Grand Prix, although his...

    F1
  8. 18:51

    Follow FP2 for the United States GP!

    F1
  9. Horner: Vettel will take part in qualifying 17:30

    Horner: Vettel will take part in qualifying

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has made clear that Sebastian Vettel will partake in qualifying for the United States...

    F1
  10. 16:54

    United States GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  11. Hamilton fastest in opening Austin practice 16:36

    Hamilton fastest in opening Austin practice

    Lewis Hamilton set the pace during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the United States Grand Prix, edging...

    F1
  12. Administrators: Caterham almost raced in Austin 16:21

    Administrators: Caterham almost raced in Austin

    The administrators attempting to save the Caterham Formula 1 team say the outfit came close to racing at this weekend's...

    F1
  13. 14:44

    Follow FP1 for the United States GP!

    F1
  14. Hernández gets 2015 Ducati support 12:11

    Hernández gets 2015 Ducati support

    Yonny Hernández will continue with Pramac Racing in 2015 after Ducati confirmed that the Colombian has taken on an enhanced...

    MotoGP
  15. FR3.5 exploring 18-inch tyres for 2016 10:43

    FR3.5 exploring 18-inch tyres for 2016

    Renault Sport has revealed that its principal junior championship – the Formula Renault 3.5 Series – is evaluating a switch t...

    FR 3.5
  16. Verstappen would prefer Vergne as team-mate 10:01

    Verstappen would prefer Vergne as team-mate

    Max Verstappen says he would like to have Jean-Éric Vergne as his team-mate when he makes his Formula 1 debut with Toro...

    F1
  17. Kaltenborn 'disturbed' by plight of F1 09:52

    Kaltenborn 'disturbed' by plight of F1

    Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn says she is "disturbed" that Formula 1 was unable to take measures to prevent two...

    F1
  18. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Austin track guide 09:03

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Austin track guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a virtual lap of the Circuit of The Americas.

    F1
  19. Räikkönen sure Ferrari can make 'big leap' 08:55

    Räikkönen sure Ferrari can make 'big leap'

    Kimi Räikkönen says he is sure that Ferrari will make a "big leap" forward next year after enduring a troublesome 2014 c...

    F1
  20. Thursday 30 October 2014

  21. 21:32

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday in Austin

    F1
  22. Qualifying revised due to smaller field 21:31

    Qualifying revised due to smaller field

    Formula 1 will adopt a revised qualifying format for this weekend's United States Grand Prix, due to the absence of the...

    F1
  23. Alonso excited by 'very ambitious' plan 19:44

    Alonso excited by 'very ambitious' plan

    Fernando Alonso chose to remain coy over his future during the build up to the United States Grand Prix, explaining only...

    F1
  24. Button to take five-place gearbox penalty 17:58

    Button to take five-place gearbox penalty

    Jenson Button will take a gearbox penalty at this weekend's United States Grand Prix. Under Formula 1's current...

    F1
  25. Vergne says he is 'best option' for Toro Rosso 17:45

    Vergne says he is 'best option' for Toro Rosso

    Jean-Éric Vergne reckons he is the "best option" out of the drivers vying to race alongside Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso...

    F1
  26. Drivers open to three-car F1 teams 17:12

    Drivers open to three-car F1 teams

    Formula 1 drivers say they are open to being a part of three-car teams, as the debate over grid size continues. With...

    F1
  27. Domenicali to start work at Audi this week 15:28

    Domenicali to start work at Audi this week

    Stefano Domenicali will begin work at Audi on November 1, the German manufacturer has confirmed to...

    Misc
  28. IndyCar announces 2015 calendar 14:51

    IndyCar announces 2015 calendar

    IndyCar officials presented a 17-race calendar for the 2015 season on Thursday. As previously confirmed, the campaign...

    Indy
  29. Family: Bianchi remains critical but stable 14:23

    Family: Bianchi remains critical but stable

    Jules Bianchi remains in a critical but stable condition at the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi following his...

    F1
  30. Vettel: Red Bull blocked early release 13:32

    Vettel: Red Bull blocked early release

    Quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel has confirmed that Red Bull has prevented him from exiting his contract early...

    F1
  31. Video: Haas F1 factory build time-lapse 11:14

    Video: Haas F1 factory build time-lapse

    Relive the 339-day construction of Haas F1 Team's new facility in Kannapolis in this time-lapse video.

    F1
  32. 10:32

    MotoGP photos: Stoner in action at Motegi

    MotoGP
  33. Stoner describes 'very positive' Motegi test 10:31

    Stoner describes 'very positive' Motegi test

    Casey Stoner has described his two-day test with Honda's 2015 bike at Motegi as "very positive". The two-time MotoGP...

    MotoGP
  34. 09:56

    F1 photos: Ocon tests F10 at Fiorano

    F1
  35. Ferrari praises Ocon after F1 test 09:51

    Ferrari praises Ocon after F1 test

    Ferrari has heaped praise on Esteban Ocon after the French teenager's prize Formula 1 test at Fiorano on Wednesday. Ocon,...

    F1
  36. Warwick confirmed as Austin steward 08:59

    Warwick confirmed as Austin steward

    Derek Warwick has been confirmed as the FIA's driver representative steward for this weekend's United States Grand...

    F1
  37. USGP memories: Hamilton wins, 2012 05:02

    USGP memories: Hamilton wins, 2012

    Relive the inaugural USGP at the Circuit of The Americas, where Lewis Hamilton overcame Sebastian Vettel.

    F1
  38. Wednesday 29 October 2014

  39. Hawksworth joins Sato at Foyt for 2015 20:02

    Hawksworth joins Sato at Foyt for 2015

    British driver Jack Hawksworth will join Takuma Sato at AJ Foyt Racing in IndyCar next season as the squad expands to a...

    Indy
  40. Vettel set to sit out qualifying for USGP 18:00

    Vettel set to sit out qualifying for USGP

    Sebastian Vettel says he will probably sit out qualifying for the United States Grand Prix as Red Bull is likely to make a...

    F1
  41. Mercedes awarded the Dewar Trophy 14:18

    Mercedes awarded the Dewar Trophy

    Mercedes has been awarded the Dewar Trophy for producing the best power unit under Formula 1's new technical...

    F1
  42. Video: Pirelli's guide to the United States GP 13:30

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the United States GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli previews this weekend's United States Grand Prix.

    F1
  43. Stoner begins test with 2015 Honda 11:48

    Stoner begins test with 2015 Honda

    Double MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner has commenced a two-day test with the 2015 Honda RC213V at Twin Ring Motegi in...

    MotoGP
more news