Lotus are bringing several major new parts for their T127 at next week’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Technical director Mike Gascoyne explained what will change on the car in Barcelona:
All the teams will have upgrades for Barcelona, but we’re hoping that ours is even more significant than our rivals because we received our entry so late and had to freeze the initial specification of the car very early in the design process. We do expect it to be reasonably significant – we have an aero package with revised sidepods, front wings and brake ducts, and a number of mechanical changes, but obviously we’ll have to wait and see what step forward our rivals will also make.
Gascoyne says the team has bedded in at its Norfolk base and is beginning to think about longer-term developments:
It’s very gratifying to see the whole factory in full operation, with every department now nearly fully staffed but starting to work to their full potential. This means we can now look at more long-term development and R&D programmes, and start thinking about future cars. We’re through the hardest part of the team’s growth and we’re on a very good footing for the future.
Jarno Trulli has only finished twice this year – and at Sepang he was five laps down after significant car trouble. He’s hoping his luck will turn around once the updated car arrives:
I think I’ve had a fair bit of bad luck so far, but I’m looking to put that behind me and see how much further forward we can go with the updates. I’ve kept in close touch with the team about the tests they’ve put the car through, and am encouraged by the results they’ve had. I think we’ll take a good step forward in Spain.
Lotus are the only new team to have beaten one of the established teams in a race this year, Heikki Kovalainen leading Nico Hülkenberg home in China.
But on pure pace they are up to 3% slower than the tail end of the midfield. We’ll see how much of that gap they can reduce next weekend.