“Long days and nights” ahead for struggling Lotus

2014 F1 season

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014Lotus admit they have a lot of work to do before the first race in Australia as they still have much to learn about their E22.

“We’ve ended our pre-season test programme with a lot of unknowns and a full workload for the days ahead,” said trackside operations director Alan Permane at the end of the final test in Bahrain.

Romain Grosjean managed only 32 laps on the last day as Lotus installed software updated on his car in the morning and suffered a Renault power unit failure in the afternoon.

“We’re all focused, both at Enstone and in Viry, on analysing all the data we have gained to make as much improvement as we can before we get to Australia for the first race of the season. Today we put some more mileage on the E22, but once again we stopped early, which is obviously not what we wanted,” said Permane.

“There will be some long days and nights before the first race but we are determined to make as much progress as possible.”

Grosjean conceded the team’s situation heading into the first race of the year was less than ideal.

“There is a lot of new technology for everyone to understand, but even though we have stopped many times and spent a lot of time in the garage, each time we run the car we are learning something new,” he said.

“We’re all working as hard as we can in Enstone and I’m sure that Renault Sport F1 is doing the same. We now have two weeks to find a lot more performance and reliability.”

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11 comments on “Long days and nights” ahead for struggling Lotus

  1. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 2nd March 2014, 16:54

    I had high hopes for Lotus going into the season. I knew they’d take a step backwards, but I didn’t know that step was going to be off a thousand-foot cliff.

    The intra-team battle will be closer than people think – Maldonado is one of the best qualifiers in F1, but Grosjean is no longer up against a World Champion teammate and should fare better himself. But unless they keep finding pace as the season goes on, they’ll be lucky to cling to a Top 8 berth in the WCC no matter how much pace either of their drivers have. I should also throw out my “Grosjean wins his first race” prediction while I’m at it, either one of them will need a miracle just to earn a podium right now.

    This team hasn’t looked this bad since the early part of 2001, or all of 2009. I’m just kind of hoping that Renault will eventually buy them back soon and their performance turns around, because I would hate to see Formula 1 lose another team with a winning pedigree that stretches back to Ayrton Senna’s rookie season, and the championship years of both MSC and Alonso.

    • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 2nd March 2014, 17:32

      @rjoconnell I feel very bad for Grosjean. Having seen his form in GP2 I think he really is a contender for one of the top drivers in F1, possibly even a World Driver’s Champion. He was closing in on Räikkönen at the end of last season and his form in Japan was blistering. And now with everything that’s happened with first Lotus’s financial predicament and now Renault’s reliability woes the immediate future looks dire for Grosjean. This season is going to be very trying for him. He’s admitted to psychological struggles in the past and was faring well whilst he was gaining in strength at Lotus last year. This year he’s going to probably be a mid-pack runner at best and he may fall afoul of his own personal demons, and that could end his until-last-year promising future.

      • JohnNik (@johnnik) said on 2nd March 2014, 19:47

        I don’t think running mid pack is going to be a problem for Grosjean. I think the biggest problem will be only completing a fraction of the race.

        On one hand, the other 7 Renault engined (power united?) cars face a similar predicament, so losing ground to RedBull seems an unlikely problem, on the other hand easy points finishes for *some* of the other teams could prove costly later in the year.

        I wholly agree that he showed some real world class last year (a point I’ve made a number of times myself), especially in the 2nd half of the season and really hope he doesn’t vanish into obscurity this season.

        • Grosjean has done enough to earn a place in other teams regardless of how he gets on this season…but he will need a mature head to rise above the inevitable failings that await the Lotus car until it gets sorted……

      • Calaros said on 2nd March 2014, 20:08

        To be perfectly honest I would not mind if he had to leave F1 – I actually really like the guy, especially after his performance last year, but I think he would be a lot of fun to watch racing in the BTCC or WTCC :)

  2. Jack (@jmc200) said on 2nd March 2014, 17:01

    It was inevitable that they’d struggle with the amount of people they’ve lost, and missing the first test. Sad I suppose.

  3. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 2nd March 2014, 19:52

    And the team still lacks team principal / racing director…

  4. Beto (@chebeto) said on 2nd March 2014, 20:14

    Is it too late for Maldonado to get his money back?

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd March 2014, 20:19

    I must say that I am even more curious of how Lotus will do than RBR

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