“Frustrated” Lotus just want to finish in Melbourne

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Lotus say they aren’t sure how competitive their car is because they’ve done so little running – and would be satisfied just to finish the first race of the year.

“Our target is to finish the race,” said the team’s technical director Nick Chester. “As we have done so little mileage it is difficult to estimate where we will be at in terms of performance.”

“To be blunt, we are starting further back than we would like to be,” he added. “I think that the first two races of this season will be very challenging for us, however it also depends on the solutions that Renault Sport F1 will be able to bring to the table too.”

However Chester believes the team can make rapid progress with the E22, which has proved troublesome in testing.

“The solutions to the problems we have encountered to date are fairly obvious and that means that we should be able to make positive steps in terms of reliability quite quickly.

“Because of the low mileage runs thus far, the reality is that there might be issues that we have yet to discover, and which might crop up further down the line and compromise reliability in the first few races. There are aspects we have improved on the car at the factory since testing so we’re eager to see the progress once we get to Melbourne.”

“There is a degree of frustration coming away from winter testing,” he added. “Clearly, we would have liked to have done more mileage and had an opportunity to run our race preparation programme as planned.”

“On the positive side we can see plenty of potential in the chassis. However, as was evident in Bahrain, we have much more work to do with the power unit itself to ensure that it is working correctly with the chassis.”

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Image © Lotus/LAT

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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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23 comments on ““Frustrated” Lotus just want to finish in Melbourne”

  1. I suspect Pastor is more of a threat than any running time.

  2. … if they can finish … within the allowed time …

  3. Renault powered teams, among many other issues, have expressed concern with turbo power delivery lag and how hard it is to start for them; apparently they could take over 1 second to move when lights go off… I hope Renault Sport F1 shows up in better shape for the Oz GP.

    1. @jcost, with the turbo having to drive a generator it would be surprising if there were not lag, but when I made this point months ago I was told that the generator would act as a motor to spin the turbo up when the driver was off-power, Renault must be aware of this and if they are still having problems the others aren’t then they must be trying to do something differently.

      1. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be able to start properly, you’d already be revving before the lights go out so there shouldn’t be an issue with the turbo.

  4. stupid question i know, but can Renault teams use the race itself as a testing session?

    1. and by testing i mean pit multiple times to tweak the car and come out again?

      1. No They cant Do that in Race. Once you go out for Q1 Run you will have to stuck with the setup you used and If you alter the setup you have to start from the Pit lane.

        1. yes that i know. but let’s say they start with setup A and they start the race with that very setup. Now, can they pit after say, 10 laps to change the setup and rejoin?

          1. Yes thy are out of parc ferme rule once the race starts but they may possibly lose many laps doing this.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            12th March 2014, 13:36

            Not sure they’ll change the setup during the race in that way but there’s a good chance that some may retire into the pits with a problem and then come back out later on in the race to get some laps in.

          3. well, if they’re going to be 4-5 laps down and not score points anyways, they might as well get some useful running out of the race.

          4. Not sure they’ll change the setup during the race in that way but there’s a good chance that some may retire into the pits with a problem and then come back out later on in the race to get some laps in.

            Hmm, it ‘ll be interseting to see if someone does just that :P

  5. money (@carlos-danger)
    12th March 2014, 13:16

    more ineptitude from a once great team.

    1. A while back after Jerez testing they twittered that image with part of their car and a magazine with the RB10 on the cover spelling out “Red Bull Crisis”.

      This is what I put in the news thread about it: “They’d better have some decent running today and in Bahrain or this picture will come back and bite them.”

      Well… Here it is again: https://www.racefans.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/lotus-e22-nose.jpg

      Maybe someone could photoshop an E22 in there :p

  6. Never mind the race……I wonder how many teams will make it through qualifying!!!!

    1. Fair point if the Mirror’s attention grabbing headline is to be believed (though coming from the Mirror I’m a little sceptical!). If the 107% rule is applied without using much discretion then there could be quite a few Saturday casualties…

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      12th March 2014, 13:48

      I think just about every session is going to be highly fascinating. Not only because we’ll get a better picture of what the pecking order is, but because of how long these new cars take to repair when failure occurs.

      If Red Bull (or any team for that matter) have a failure in FP1, then they’ll very likely miss FP2 because the car simply won’t be ready in time. But the worst possible time to have a failure is during FP3, because it will cancel out any hopes you had of getting out in time for Q1.

  7. I sincerely have no idea where to post this, I’m just curious…

    Whose sidepod is this?


    I can’t recognize the livery.. McLaren?

    1. It’s McLaren.

      1. Hmm, nice spot! It would seem McLaren have a revised livery

  8. I’m telling you right now, any team that retires in Australia WILL retire in Malaysia as well, so all the Renault teams should really go conservative in these first couple of races.

  9. I just had an awful thought: imagine if only 25% of the cars finish in the first four or five races.

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