Lotus withdraw from Barcelona test after chassis problems

2012 F1 testing

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Barcelona, 2012

Lotus hit trouble with their second E20 chassis

Lotus have announced they will take no further part in this week’s four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The team curtailed its testing today after discovering a problem with its second E20 chassis.

Romain Grosjean completed just seven laps before pulling into the pits. He later said the car “wasn?t responding as it should”.

Despite having completed 404 laps – more than any other team – at Jerez two weeks ago with its original chassis, Lotus say the problem discovered today will require changes to both E20s.

Grosjean was due to test tomorrow with Kimi Raikkonen taking over from him in the final two days.

Technical director James Allison said: “Before we were due to fly chassis E20-01 out to Barcelona in replacement of chassis E20-02 – damaged this morning – we ran a series of simulations at the factory based on the data provided by our brief running on track today.

“As a result, we were able to identify an area which requires some additional work. It will be more productive for us to carry out these modifications to both chassis at Enstone rather than send E20-01 out to this week?s test. We?ll put the right measures in place and we will be able to fix the problem before next week.”

Team principal Eric Boullier added: “Not running this week has been a tough decision to take, but we feel that our choice is the right one.

“On the positive side, we have quickly identified the issue with the chassis and our design office has already devised a solution. We will be present at next week?s test in Barcelona. We draw faith from the fact that the E20 was quick out of the box in Jerez and showed its reliability there. We have a lot of work ahead of us over the next week but everyone at Enstone is ready for this challenge.”

The loss of almost four days of testing could be a major blow for the team. After the current test there are only four further days of running scheduled before the season begins.

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67 comments on Lotus withdraw from Barcelona test after chassis problems

  1. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 21st February 2012, 21:51

    you can write off any chance of them scoring a win now. they had a mountain to climb before this setback.

  2. Eggry (@eggry) said on 22nd February 2012, 0:19

    Not good news for them…

  3. sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd February 2012, 0:21

    hang on. i heard they’re shipping the old chassis over and will be running sometime on wednesday?

  4. schooner (@schooner) said on 22nd February 2012, 0:28

    I’ve had high hopes for Lotus to be mixing it up towards the pointy end this year, and this has to be a significant setback. That said, the car performed very nicely at the first test, so I’m hoping that they only have a “minor” issue to address. Maybe an extra layer or two of carbon fiber somewhere on the chassis? Maybe I’m dreaming? We shall see!

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 22nd February 2012, 3:27

    Oh dear this is a big blow for them,just the time they were coming to shape they lost it. So the question remain whether they will get to test those 3 days that they will miss?

  6. steco (@steco) said on 22nd February 2012, 5:37

    what can I say?
    LOTUS = Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious

  7. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 22nd February 2012, 6:48

    They have you all fooled! This is their secret weapon, they have taken Mercedes line and will dump this test to be able to test in private.

  8. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 22nd February 2012, 7:33

    The Iceman causeth the chassis to crack :D !

  9. Could be a ruse to test away from prying eyes, with this much time left before the first race they could copy and test what they see faster than you can say Jack Robinson!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd February 2012, 9:16

      Could be a ruse to test away from prying eyes

      And what would they possibly have to gain from that, considering that the E20 ran on all four days in Jerez?

      The idea that Lotus has staged this to get a private test is ridiculous. As Keith has outlined, they would need to book an approved circuit, and arrange for transport and accomodation for every member of the team, plus ship all of their freight around – and they would have to do it on short notice, which would be very expensive. There is one more four-day test planned for next week, and then the teams will all start making preparations to get themselves and their cars to Australia a few days before the event.

      So while they certainly could have set this up as a ruse, they also could decide to do the Australian Grand Prix in the nude. At the end of the day, it boils down to this: Lotus had a problem. It forced them out of the Barcelona test. They might be able to hold a private test – if they can manage it – to make up for lost time. There is no subterfuge here.

  10. robk23 (@robk23) said on 22nd February 2012, 9:35

    Apparently the new parts are already being manufactured, at least they could fix the problem quickly. Obviously not quickly enough to get back to Barcelona before the end of the week though.

  11. Chris Goldsmith said on 22nd February 2012, 12:31

    I thought that chassis design was homologated before the start of testing and couldn’t be modified afterwards? Of course, a material defect might be the cause, but if it’s a design issue then will they actually be able to make the changes they need to?

  12. The Limit said on 22nd February 2012, 14:51

    The positive aspect of this is atleast now, with a bit of luck, Lotus can sort this out. Better to have problems now than during the season, thousands of miles away from the factory. However, it is a concern in the fact that both chassis have been withdrawn for what I can only assume to be related issues. When will this outfit catch a break? As if losing Robert Kubica a year ago a big enough setback, yet something else goes wrong. You have to feel sorry for Kimi Raikkonen too, he’ll have to be fresh out of the box at Melbourne thats for sure!

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