Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014

Lopez expecting “tough start” for Lotus in Australia

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014Lotus face a “tough start” to the 2014 season, team chairman Gerard Lopez admitted ahead of the first race of the year.

The team did not get its new car on track until the season pre-season test and completed less mileage than any of their rivals.

“Our hopes and aspirations for the season rest on how quickly we can make our car competitive after a tough start,” said Lopez.

He singled out Mercedes as the most well-prepared engine manufacturer for the year ahead:

“It is no secret that we face an extremely well-resourced rival in Mercedes who have dedicated considerable efforts to their power units for the 2014 season.

“We are doing everything we can to enable Renault Sport F1 to respond to this strong rival and our resources are at their disposal. The bar has been raised and we all need to react.”

Lopez said Lotus understand what they need to do to become competitive: “We know where the rapid improvements need to come from.”

“Our technical team at Enstone has been working on the E22 for over two years and we know that the true potential of this car is yet to be seen. It is still very early days.”

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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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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18 comments on “Lopez expecting “tough start” for Lotus in Australia”

  1. Don’t worry Mr Lopez, Pastor is very pleased to be at your team.

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    11th March 2014, 14:05

    I wonder if Pastor will become the first driver to finish a season on minus points?

    1. Pastor will beat Grosjean. He is a more successful driver than the majority of the grid as only the drivers in the top 4 teams are mor successful than him. He is quite literally the best of the rest! Don’t underestimate him.

      1. hahaha, you made my day

      2. How are you defining “successful”? One win?

        Literally, the best of the rest? That is highly debatable…

        1. For his sake I hope he is being sarcastic because otherwise it’s like that time when Guardian (Or was it something else) ranked Chilton ahead of Alonso…

        2. 1 win 1 pole is a very commendable return in my book. Hundreds of F1 drivers have been and gone without tasting such heights. Don’t nobody care about who came second in sport. Only winners are remembered!

      3. Didn’t realise Kevin Magnussen was more successful… Very impressive for a guy who’s never even taken part in a GP!

      4. I think Pastor definitely has a great shot at that. It’s going to be who ever can keep focus and don’t crash out. I will argue that Romain has the most to loose/prove and will take more chances.

  3. Lopez says that Lotus dedicated 2 years for creating E22. I heard similar words from Boulier and Alisson (when he was still at Lotus), that they were working on E22 from 2011. So I wonder, why after deploying so many resources to E22, it’s struggling so much. Red Bull tell that they started working on RB10 quite late, but this isn’t the case with Lotus.

    Maybe it’s just the complexity of Renault power unit that causes so many troubles to the teams. Maybe it’s so complex, that teams just can’t be agressive with their cars design at all (as Caterham vindicates).

    I hope Renault can catch up competition as soon as possible, because it will be embarassing to watch Renault powered teams competing at the back of the field.

    1. I think its fair to say the following
      1. Words count for nothing, not Lotus’ negativity, nor RBR’s rosy outlook. All that matters is results, and we will have some this Sunday

      2. On of the wonderful things about F1 and its concept of “running a car of your own design” is that the engineering plays as much a part in the result as the driver, if not more so. Speaking from an engineering background, it is quite common for 2 people to approach a solution or design in completely different ways. All designs will have compromises and flaws that are impossible to foresee at the stage when the foundation is laid. Good engineers know this and work in stages, rather than trying to design the full vision in ultimate detail before building any of it, thereby leaving room for unforeseen modifications later. Great engineers are able to get much further into the process before they encounter unforeseeable problems that impact the design and therefore, are able to minimize compromise.
      Either way, engineering is a very creative and personal process. It is silly to expect the work of Monet to come from the hand of Picasso though they are both masters of their vocation; it is the same for F1 engineers.

      1. You can’t put it better mate. I can echo on every word you wrote here. Great post indeed!

    2. You pretty much answer your own question – all of the Renault teams have had issues with the PU energy store, performance and cooling requirements because the engine manufacturer either miscommunicated the requirements or foolishly anticipated that fixed dynos would adequately communicate packaging requirements.

      Renault’s engine team were also under-resourced compared to Ferrari & Mercedes, having downsized following the V8 engine freeze – they didn’t feel the need to staff up because they were just looking after engines, not chassis integration or ERS, which they historically left to the teams.

      The issue was compounded further by the ‘unofficial official’ works team delaying on their 2014 chassis development chasing results in the previous years championship, thus delaying the entire project further. The issues Red Bull have experienced will compound this even further, because Renault were probably hoping they would be able to use the RB10 as a performance benchmark.

  4. Rivals or also known as competitors with the same goal. Lotus and Mercedes are not that. Mercedes will be happy with P1 and targets a podium for both drivers whilst the latter will be happy to finish the race.

  5. I fear Lotus won’t score any points at all, in normal conditions. The machine has told them the car is great the way it’s shaped but they’ll face the reality that simple math must be accounted for and that computers aren’t perfect so they will have a failure either like the F2012 or the MP4-28, either way no victories and possibly no podiums.

  6. Starting will be a huge achievement Mr Lopez…

  7. After all of this I find it amazing how some people think Grosjean will win a race this year. I’d honestly be surprised if he gets more than 25 points all year (nothing against Grosjean or Lotus, I think their both really good) and don’t even get me started on Maldonado.

  8. I don’t think that Lotus F1 team are going to be top three in the podium at Australia Grand Prix because lotus F1 team need to push Renault engineer resolve problem on PU system that aren’t fast enough……………. I believe that Lotus will start to rebound back at Malaysia Prand Prix or Bahrin Grand Prix.

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