German GP: Romain Grosjean sure FRIC ban has hurt Lotus F1 team
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, July 19th 2014, 17:42 GMT|
Romain Grosjean has no doubts that Lotus has been hurt by being forced to remove its FRIC suspension system for this weekend's German Grand Prix.
With Lotus - then running as Renault - having pioneered the return of interconnected suspension to Formula 1 in 2008, the team was one of the outfits most likely to feel its loss.
Amid a particularly difficult weekend for the team, with Grosjean due to start 14th, the Frenchman is clear that Lotus has suffered more than others.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if the team's difficulties in Germany could be explained by having no FRIC, Grosjean said: "Let's put it this way - Lotus has been using it for longer than other teams. So yes.
"It is seven or eight years that we used it on the car, so all developments have been made around specific ride heights and where the floor should be.
"So if you remove the FRIC you have to raise the ride height and you get out of the window. So it did cost us quite a bit.
"The car is not undriveable, it is quite nice to drive, but we miss some downforce."
Teams have had less than a fortnight's warning about the potential loss of FRIC, so there has not been scope for dramatic car redevelopment yet to recover any losses.
Grosjean thinks that it may well take weeks for Lotus to get on top of its latest troubles.
"I don't think it will be for Hungary," he said. "It is very difficult for us, but on the other hand it could be positive as we find a new way to improve the car, to improve the aero around the new design.
"So it will take time. We need to get in the windtunnel to work around those areas, and CFD, and see what we can do. But on the other hand it could find us some solutions to our problems."