Lotus abandon test of second E20 chassis

2012 F1 testing

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Lotus hit trouble with their second E20

Lotus have been forced to cancel their running in today’s test after discovering a problem with their new E20 chassis.

Romain Grosjean was shaking down the second of the team’s E20s at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Trackside operations director Alan Permane explained: “This morning was our first shakedown of our second chassis.

“Once the car was on track it was soon evident that everything wasn’t quite as it should be. As a precaution we are returning the chassis to Enstone for further investigation. Chassis E20-01, which we used in Jerez, is being sent over and we expect to be on track with that chassis tomorrow.”

Grosjean said: “We completed a few aero runs and then started timed runs, but I was very quickly aware that the car wasn’t responding as it should.

“It’s not ideal to lose track time, but fortunately we will have the chassis which ran perfectly in Jerez so I should get some good track time tomorrow. It’s far better that we have an issue like this now rather than in Melbourne.”

Team principal Eric Boullier called the interruption a “minor setback”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Lotus abandon test of second E20 chassis”

  1. In theory all they have to do is copy the first one, right? Unless something went wrong with the materials during the fabrication process?

    1. F1 cars are all hand made. The teams do an immense amount to ensure that parts are as identical as possible, but there are still variances.

  2. In theory, although there could be an underlying problem with the concept in general which wasnt apparant in the first test.

  3. since they’re sending the entire chassis off, it seems like it’s a problem with the tub or a cracked chassis.. which is never good.
    Has to be something major to warrant an entire car change..

  4. A “minor setback”?

    Reminds me of Buemi’s driving with no wheels comment “It was not a problem for me.”

    1. Well it wasn’t, he was still trying to steer when the wheel wasn’t attached to anything!

  5. Things break…

    1. In F1 you can’t afford to have things break. Testing is not so bad though. I think minor setback is fair language.

      It definitely sounds like a one off problem, which is good, otherwise they wouldn’t have completed the first test as they did.

      1. I guess it’s a single problem but if it’s sort of stress case, then Lotus is in very serious situation.

  6. i wonder if this new chassis will let Lotus get rid of the stepped nose..?

  7. Better to find chassis faults now rather than in Australia and be stuck with it for three GPs until you can get back to Europe, as happened with one of the RB7s last season.

  8. If one has never done so, have a look at what it takes to make anything out of Carbon Fiber.

    Basically, its a laminate of many individual sheets of fabric. Each must be laid in a specific orientation to the ones above and below it and bound to it with some chemical binder.

    CF is very strong, but not very forgiving, unlike metal, which has strenght based on thickness, quality of metal, and absence of voids, CF’s strength is determined by number of plys(thickness), Quality of the material, quality and application of the binder (usually an epoxy) AND ORIENTATION of the plys relative to each other. Even more complications come when you want it to bend ever so slightly. Get this last part right, and a part will be unbelievably strong and stiff; get it wrong, and the same part will have extremely reduced strength or none of the desired flex.

    Im not saying thats the issue, but I do love this artistic part of F1 car building, and take any opportunity to talk about it.

  9. I can’t see it affecting them much, given that their nearest rivals last year didn’t even bring their new car to the first test.

    I imagine they factor in these sort of issues.

  10. So they will continue testing for the next 3 days with their old chassis.

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