Lotus set sights on Williams


Lotus are confident they can make a “massive step” up next season that will allow them to challenge the likes of Williams.

Having finished fourth in the 2012 and 2013 campaigns on the back of a couple of race wins, Lotus had high hopes this year but they were well off the pace with both their chassis and Renault engine not up to scratch.

However, the team will switch from Renault power units to Mercedes next year.

Williams proved this season just how powerful the Merc engines by finishing third in the Constructors’ Championship, so it is no surprise to see that Lotus technical director Nick Chester is optimistic about their chances.

“I think we can make a massive step,” he told Autosport. “We know how much the engine’s worth, we know what our aerodynamic problems are; couple fixing the aero problems with what the engine’s worth and we can make a big step up.

“Williams have done a great job; if they have good development over the winter it will be hard to catch them, but we’ll be trying to get on the back of Williams if we can.”

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado had plenty of problems with the back end of their E22 this year and Chester feels that was one of the areas that they can improve.

“The packaging is very different, and that has some advantages in how we lay out cooling systems in the back of the car,” he added.

“The way the Mercedes engine is laid out is quite nice in a few ways for how we do the back end of the car.

“Our whole cooling system layout will be different, so it opens up quite a few possibilities for us.”