Chester sure Lotus has learnt 2014 lessons
14 August 2014 – Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester is sure that the squad has learnt its lessons as it seeks to recover from a troubled first half of 2014.
Lotus fought for wins in 2013 and claimed fourth in the Constructors' championship but their 2014 campaign has been blighted by problems, with Romain Grosjean having claimed just eight points so far this year and Pastor Maldonado yet to trouble the scoreboard.
Chester insists that Lotus won't suffer a repeat of their problems in 2015.
"[We're] pretty confident," he told the official Formula 1 website. "We had an awful lot of unknowns coming into 2014. There were some things we were really worried about that turned out not to be problems, and then some things we hadn't expected at all.
"So there was an awful lot of learning, and the early testing was really hard work, the hardest we have had with a new car since I have been at Enstone. There were whole systems on the car that we just had very little of experience of. But we learnt an awful lot from it."
Chester reckons that a significant portion of Lotus's problems with its E22 stems from the late arrival of the car, with the team having missed the first pre-season test in Spain at the start of 2014.
"We were hurt at the start of the year because of the car being late - plus we had pretty poor reliability, so in Melbourne we were in pretty bad shape," he said. "Over the first four races to Barcelona we then improved very heavily, in quite a few areas really.
"We haven't been happy with where we have been in the races that followed. In Monaco we expected the car to perform quite well and it didn't - we struggled with some of the low-speed corners - and then at places like Montreal and Spielberg, we struggled with the power-sensitivity of those tracks."
However, Chester believes that in a congested midfield, Lotus's issues have been accentuated by Renault's Power Unit.
"Probably this year it is more of a Power Unit formula than aero, when in the past it has always been aero by some margin," he added. "It has turned it around quite a lot. From the top to the bottom of the grid that deficit is probably more aero than it is Power Unit, but in the middle of the grid the Power Unit is making quite a big difference."