Lotus optimistic despite chassis setback as it prepares to return to F1 testing action

Lotus technical director James Allison is optimistic having missed the second pre-season test will not be a big setback for the team as it prepares to get back on track tomorrow

Lotus optimistic despite chassis setback as it prepares to return to F1 testing action

The team decided to pull out of the Barcelona test last week after it found a problem with its chassis right after Romain Grosjean took to the track for the first time.

Lotus has now worked to fix the problem and will be on track from tomorrow for the final test at Barcelona.

Allison admitted missing four days of running was far from ideal, but he is adamant there are reasons to be optimistic.

"Of course, missing four days of testing is not ideal," said Allison. "We need mileage at this stage of the year, as does any other team. That said, there are reasons to remain optimistic.

"First of all, we completed many trouble-free laps in Jerez and gained a good understanding of the car. Also, some of the small issues we identified in Jerez needed to be fixed, and the parts were not available last week. On Thursday, the car will run with all the required redesigned parts. We're looking forward to being back on track."

When asked if he was confident about the repair, he said: "Yes."

Allison revealed the car is now around one kilogram heavier, but he is confident it won't impact performance much.

"We're only talking about 1kg, which is manageable. It won't have any significant impact on handling or performance."

Speaking about the problem, he added: "We arrived in Barcelona with a brand new chassis, the E20-02. We completed installation laps on Tuesday morning then Romain left the pits for his first run of the day.

"As soon as he touched the brakes before turn 1 on his first flying lap, he felt that something was wrong. He told us on the radio that he was aborting that run and returning straight to the pits.

"We saw immediately that we had a problem with the mounting of the upper front wishbone rear arm."

Allison said the chassis did not have to pass the mandatory crash tests again, but he admitted it had been a very busy couple of days.

"It's been an intense few days, but I have to say that everybody has completed their tasks in tremendous fashion. On the first day back at the factory, I spoke to the entire Enstone personnel and clearly explained what happened. Everybody understood that the situation was unfortunate, but under control.

"We designed the new parts, manufactured them, and fitted them to the chassis. We then completed the necessary tests satisfactorily and the chassis left for Spain."

Lotus will use chassis 01 this week at Barcelona, while chassis 02 will be used as a spare from now on.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Pablo Elizalde
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