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 29 July 2016

  2. 17:02

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Hockenheim

    F1
  3. Vettel positive but wants 'steps forward' 16:57

    Vettel positive but wants 'steps forward'

    Sebastian Vettel described a positive opening day of practice in Germany but still feels that Ferrari needs to make significant…

    F1
  4. Mercedes moved to prevent Hamilton penalty 16:09

    Mercedes moved to prevent Hamilton penalty

    Mercedes says it acted to remove any risk of Lewis Hamilton being handed a reprimand over track limits during German Grand Prix…

    F1
  5. Button cleared after precautionary checks 15:37

    Button cleared after precautionary checks

    Jenson Button has been cleared to compete in the remainder of the German Grand Prix weekend after he required a precautionary…

    F1
  6. 15:31

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Hockenheim

    GP2
  7. Sirotkin edges Gasly for Hockenheim pole 15:29

    Sirotkin edges Gasly for Hockenheim pole

    ART Grand Prix driver Sergey Sirotkin claimed his third GP2 pole position of the season as he edged series leader by just 0.016s…

    GP2
  8. Ricciardo: Red Bull/Ferrari battle 'close' 15:10

    Ricciardo: Red Bull/Ferrari battle 'close'

    Daniel Ricciardo says the battle between Red Bull and Ferrari at this weekend's German Grand Prix will be "close", given…

    F1
  9. Button goes to hospital for eye check-up 14:49

    Button goes to hospital for eye check-up

    Jenson Button has gone to hospital for a "precautionary check-up" after experiencing an eye irritation during Friday afternoon's…

    F1
  10. 14:33

    German Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  11. Rosberg stays ahead in second practice 14:32

    Rosberg stays ahead in second practice

    Nico Rosberg kept his place at the top of the times during Friday's second practice session for the German Grand Prix, ahead of…

    F1
  12. Red flags in qualifying to stop improvements 13:09

    Red flags in qualifying to stop improvements

    Formula 1 qualifying sessions are to be red flagged immediately in the future in the event of double yellow flags being waved…

    F1
  13. 12:52

    Follow second practice for the German GP!

    F1
  14. Vandoorne downplays Manor speculation 12:20

    Vandoorne downplays Manor speculation

    McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne has played down talk that he could replace Rio Haryanto at Manor from the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  15. Video: Classic Mercedes at Hockenheim 11:02

    Video: Classic Mercedes at Hockenheim

    Nico Rosberg, Pascal Wehrlein and Nico Hülkenberg drive three legendary Mercedes cars at Hockenheim.

    F1
  16. 10:33

    German Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  17. Rosberg leads Hamilton in first practice 10:31

    Rosberg leads Hamilton in first practice

    Nico Rosberg edged out team-mate Lewis Hamilton during Friday morning's first free practice session for the German Grand Prix…

    F1
  18. 08:52

    Follow first practice for the German GP!

    F1
  19. GPDA chief Wurz 'surprised' by halo delay 08:34

    GPDA chief Wurz 'surprised' by halo delay

    Grand Prix Drivers' Association Chairman Alexander Wurz says that he is "surprised" by the decision to delay the introduction of…

    F1
  20. Hülkenberg confirms Force India stay 08:00

    Hülkenberg confirms Force India stay

    Nico Hülkenberg has formally confirmed that he will remain with Force India into 2017, for what will be his fifth season with…

    F1
  21. Formula V8 3.5 to link up with WEC in 2017 07:44

    Formula V8 3.5 to link up with WEC in 2017

    Formula V8 3.5 will act as the support category to the World Endurance Championship from the start of the 2017 season…

    FV8 3.5
  22. Video of the Day: Being a race engineer 05:22

    Video of the Day: Being a race engineer

    Former Olympic rower Tom Stallard talks about his switch to F1 to become Jenson Button's race engineer.

    F1
  23. Thursday 28 July 2016

  24. 19:02

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Hockenheim

    F1
  25. Formula 1 agrees to free up radio rules 18:45

    Formula 1 agrees to free up radio rules

    Formula 1 has agreed to relax its much-criticised radio communication restrictions from this weekend's German Grand Prix…

    F1
  26. Formula 1 votes against halo for 2017 18:02

    Formula 1 votes against halo for 2017

    Formula 1 will delay the introduction of increased head protection until the 2018 season, with it agreed at the latest meeting…

    F1
  27. Hamilton feels he is 'still behind' in standings 16:45

    Hamilton feels he is 'still behind' in standings

    Lewis Hamilton says he feels as though he is "still behind" Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the championship standings…

    F1
  28. Gutiérrez: Hamilton deserved penalty for gesture 16:17

    Gutiérrez: Hamilton deserved penalty for gesture

    Haas driver Esteban Gutiérrez reckons rival Lewis Hamilton should have been sanctioned for his "disrespectful gesture" during…

    F1
  29. Haryanto: Summer break crucial for future 14:23

    Haryanto: Summer break crucial for future

    Manor driver Rio Haryanto has stated that Formula 1's traditional summer break will be crucial if he is to complete his rookie…

    F1
  30. Sauber takeover has accelerated development 13:33

    Sauber takeover has accelerated development

    Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson says the team's takeover has enabled the squad to increase its development programme, as it bids…

    F1
  31. Formula E presents new-look 2016/17 car 12:36

    Formula E presents new-look 2016/17 car

    Organisers of the Formula E championship have presented a new-look single-spec car for the 2016/17 season. Formula E has used…

    FE
  32. Pérez: I will decide on Formula 1 future 12:19

    Pérez: I will decide on Formula 1 future

    Sergio Pérez says that it is up to himself and sponsors to decide where he will be racing next year, going against Force India…

    F1
  33. Stoneman gets IndyCar test with Andretti 11:11

    Stoneman gets IndyCar test with Andretti

    Dean Stoneman will sample IndyCar machinery with Andretti Autosport at Watkins Glen next month, with the team handing test runs…

    Indy
  34. 10:18

    Photos: Schumacher charity football match

    F1
  35. In photos: Ricciardo hits the F1 century 09:04

    In photos: Ricciardo hits the F1 century

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo will make his 100th appearance in Formula 1 at this weekend's German Grand Prix. GPUpdate.net…

    F1
  36. Mercedes must accept driver 'idiosyncrasies' 08:32

    Mercedes must accept driver 'idiosyncrasies'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he and the squad must deal with the "idiosyncracies" of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and…

    F1
  37. Binder replaces Canamasas at Carlin 07:59

    Binder replaces Canamasas at Carlin

    René Binder will return to the GP2 Series at Hockenheim this weekend in place of Sergio Canamasas at Carlin. Canamasas…

    GP2
  38. Video of the Day: Vettel on home Grand Prix 05:42

    Video of the Day: Vettel on home Grand Prix

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to his home race, the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

    F1
  39. Wednesday 27 July 2016

  40. 16:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  41. Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany 15:04

    Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the squad wants to enter Formula 1's summer break having gained a position in the…

    F1
  42. Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016 13:42

    Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016

    Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will leave MotoGP at the end of the season, with a switch to the World Superbike Championship…

    MotoGP
  43. Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity' 12:50

    Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity'

    Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says this weekend's German Grand Prix will be "a bit of an unknown quantity" tyre-wise…

    F1
more news