Nick Chester, Alan Permane, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014

“Frustrated” Lotus just want to finish in Melbourne

2014 Australian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Nick Chester, Alan Permane, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014Lotus say they aren’t sure how competitive their car is because they’ve done so little running – and would be satisfied just to finish the first race of the year.

“Our target is to finish the race,” said the team’s technical director Nick Chester. “As we have done so little mileage it is difficult to estimate where we will be at in terms of performance.”

“To be blunt, we are starting further back than we would like to be,” he added. “I think that the first two races of this season will be very challenging for us, however it also depends on the solutions that Renault Sport F1 will be able to bring to the table too.”

However Chester believes the team can make rapid progress with the E22, which has proved troublesome in testing.

“The solutions to the problems we have encountered to date are fairly obvious and that means that we should be able to make positive steps in terms of reliability quite quickly.

“Because of the low mileage runs thus far, the reality is that there might be issues that we have yet to discover, and which might crop up further down the line and compromise reliability in the first few races. There are aspects we have improved on the car at the factory since testing so we’re eager to see the progress once we get to Melbourne.”

“There is a degree of frustration coming away from winter testing,” he added. “Clearly, we would have liked to have done more mileage and had an opportunity to run our race preparation programme as planned.”

“On the positive side we can see plenty of potential in the chassis. However, as was evident in Bahrain, we have much more work to do with the power unit itself to ensure that it is working correctly with the chassis.”

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Image © Lotus/LAT