Lotus targeting F1 rival Williams in 2015 thanks to Mercedes move

The Lotus Formula 1 team is targeting fighting with Williams when it makes its own switch from Renault to Mercedes engines next season

Lotus targeting F1 rival Williams in 2015 thanks to Mercedes move

The Enstone-based F1 team confirmed during the Russian Grand Prix that it would end a long association with Renault to join Williams in using Mercedes power in 2015.

Switching from Renault to Mercedes has helped Williams climb from ninth in the 2013 constructors' championship to beating Ferrari to third this year.

Lotus technical director Nick Chester believes the move can transform his team's fortunes in a similar way.

Lotus finished fourth in the 2013 title race, but scored just 10 points and finished no higher than eighth in 2014.

"I think we can make a massive step," Chester told AUTOSPORT.

"We know how much the engine's worth, we know what our aerodynamic problems are; couple fixing the aero problems with what the engine's worth and we can make a big step up.

"Williams have done a great job; if they have good development over the winter it will be hard to catch them, but we'll be trying to get on the back of Williams if we can."

MERCEDES OFFERS EXTRA BENEFITS

Chester says the Mercedes engine will "open up a number of possibilities" to improve on this year's E22 design, which generally qualified towards the back end of Q2, beyond the simple benefits of extra power and smoother delivery.

"The packaging is very different, and that has some advantages in how we lay out cooling systems in the back of the car," Chester explained to AUTOSPORT.

"The way the Mercedes engine is laid out is quite nice in a few ways for how we do the back end of the car.

"Our whole cooling system layout will be different, so it opens up quite a few possibilities for us."

The team has lost several key personnel and rank and file staff over the past 18 months, but Chester remains confident Lotus still has the necessary technical talent to recover from a difficult 2014 campaign.

"We have got a lot of good people at Enstone," he added.

"We lost a few at the end of 2013, but it's still got a lot of strong people who know how to make good cars.

"I think we can bounce back a long way next year."

shares
comments
F1 world champion Hamilton wants to 'emulate' Senna in 2015
Previous article

F1 world champion Hamilton wants to 'emulate' Senna in 2015

Next article

Jenson Button thinks McLaren F1 team's indecision is 'strange'

Jenson Button thinks McLaren F1 team's indecision is 'strange'
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022