Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Albert Park, 2014

Lotus may take until Spain to get most out of E22

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Albert Park, 2014Lotus say it may take until the Spanish Grand Prix for them to unlock the potential of their E22 chassis.

The team endured a tough opening weekend in Australia, covering only a small number of laps during practice and failing to get either of their cars to the finish.

The team’s technical director Nick Chester said it was difficult to tell how quickly they would progress having covered so little mileage so far. “I’m certainly hoping for an improvement for Malaysia and then some more in Bahrain,” he said, “although as they are back to back it is likely to be small steps”.

“It may well be Barcelona before we are in a more stable position and compete at the level we want to be at. One thing’s for certain, we’re not sitting back; we’re pushing all the way with the focus on extracting the maximum from the E22.”

However he believes the team can make quick gains once they’ve solved some of the car’s niggling problems. “From what we have seen on the chassis in terms of measurements, particularly on the aero side, it still looks very strong.”

“There is nothing fundamental on the car that will stop it being competitive but we need to get to a sufficient level of mapping and operating the car so that the drivers can extract the maximum from the E22.

“There are clear, identifiable areas where we can find big chunks of time. Once we have more mileage under our belt and worked on the balance of the car then the drivers will feel more comfortable and we will make good progress.”

Software problems were the main causes of difficult for the team in Australia, he said, “the fixes for which can be quite time consuming”.

“Worse than that, they can be time consuming at the most inopportune times over a race weekend. That said, we left Australia with some key directions including a deeper understanding of the energy management and how we need to optimise it.”

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