Lotus confident of making another step forward at Spa 21 August, 2013 136 Romain Grosjean with Alan Permane Lotus’ trackside operations director Alan Permane has revealed that Lotus will return to action at Spa-Francorchamps, for the Belgian Grand Prix, with a crate full of upgrade goodies and the knowledge that the E21 operates well with the revised Pirelli tyres. Speaking ahead of the weekend in Belgium, Permane said, “Although we have had a decent gap of four weeks between races, two of those are eliminated by the enforced factory shutdown. This still leaves two weeks of course; a period … sufficient to bring a few new parts to the table as we would normally do in such a gap.” “We’ve got several updates coming up – both mechanical and aerodynamic – so we’re confident of making another step forward,” added Permane. Over the past two seasons Lotus has managed to optimise their car to suit whatever tyres Pirelli have had on offer. The recent changes to the 2013 tyres have also been well received by their drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Permane revealed, “From Budapest we’ve learned that the ‘new’ tyres seem to suit our car relatively well. We can only assess their effect on performance relative to the competition around us, and I’d say we’ve not done too badly on that front.” “Mercedes for example seem to be very well suited to them, but Ferrari perhaps not so much. Although we were slightly quicker than them in both Germany and Hungary, ourselves and Red Bull look very evenly matched. I wouldn’t say they’ve changed our position too much,” concluded the Lotus man. (GP247) Subbed by AJN.