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Lotus expect to be ready by April

Wednesday 05-March-2014 13:23

Nick Chester believes Lotus will be back on an even keel with the Formula One pacesetters by the time the Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at the start of April.

The Enstone team goes into the season's opening race in Australia later this month somewhat unprepared for the upcoming season.

After opting out of the season's opening winter testing session at Jerez, Lotus had a number of problems during the following two sessions in Bahrain, with both their E22 car and its Renault power unit proving problematic.

Following the conclusion of the second Bahrain test last week, Chester told ESPN that they weren't able to complete their objectives for the test at Sakhir, prompting Paddy Power to drop Lotus' odds of winning the title.

"It will all depend very much on the progress we have made with Renault Sport," Chester told ESPN when asked about how long it would take for the Enstone outfit to be competitive.

"I don't think it's a lack of understanding [of the Renault engine], it's a lack of running. We understand the power unit, we just need a lot more mileage.

"Renault need more mileage to make sure they understand the power unit will cover everything they want, and we need it to make sure the chassis will be reliable over a race distance."

Despite their struggles during pre-season, Chester remains convinced that the design of the E22 is a good one, although on paper bookmakers have all but written them out of the Championship.

"With the chassis itself the level of grip isn't too bad, even though we've lost a little bit of downforce. The biggest problems are how the chassis works with the power unit and how the energy recovery system works," Chester added.

"So there are some inconsistencies there which are making it very difficult for the driver to predict what he is going to get when he arrives at the corner. The system is not doing exactly the same thing every time and that is disturbing the driver and losing us a lot of time."

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