Lotus content with pre-season progress

Tuesday 25-February-2014 12:20

Lotus believes that they have made 'strong progress' with their E22 car, despite only completing 111 laps during last week's testing session in Bahrain.

The Enstone team opted to sit out the season's first test in Jerez last month and after completing less laps than every team bar Marussia at Sakhir last week, there is a fear that they will go into the Australian Grand Prix somewhat undercooked.

Lotus' Technical Director Nick Chester, however, believes the team is going in the right direction.

"Certainly, we started from a position very far from where we want to be," Chester said during an interview with the official Lotus website.

"On the first day (in Sakhir) we completed a mere seven laps, then 18, then next 26, and 59 by the final day, so we are heading in the right direction in terms of track time - and time on the track is what we need to understand and develop the car.

"We have to remember this is very sophisticated new technology we are running and we are adopting a cautious approach to understanding how everything should work.

"Certainly the problems we have had relating to the energy store unit have meant lengthy amounts of time in the garage as we change components.

"The correlation of how the car looks in the wind tunnel and in simulations relative to how it performs aerodynamically on track seem to be good, which is encouraging for future developments with the car.

"The last day of running was very productive and has given us a lot of data to work with going forwards.

Although Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pasto Maldonado has spent less time than the rest of the grid during winter testing, Chester is unconcerned heading into this week's second test Bahrain.

"There is still a lot of pace to be found from the E22. We're working with Renault Sport F1 on the operation of the power unit, we only ran the power unit at representative power levels during the last day of the test and there is more time to come from optimising power delivery and allowing the drivers more time to get used to it," he continued.

"We haven't started looking at car setup yet which will unlock more performance.

"Clearly it's a different scenario to this time last year for all teams.

"All teams will be concentrating on race simulations at this week's Bahrain test to prepare for Melbourne."

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