Grosjean plays down reports of 2014 Lotus E22 delay

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean has played down concerns that the Lotus E22 – successor to the handy E21 – is way behind schedule, compared to its major rivals, in simulator testing of the 2014 Formula 1 car.

While the Enstone based team’s top rivals including Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren have been computer simulating their new V6-powered cars for months, a different picture has emerged from the Lotus camp.

Although highly competitive in 2013, there have also been reports of financial troubles at Lotus, amid reports the crucial Quantum buy-in has failed.

Indeed, the team’s preferred choice of driver for 2014, Nico Hulkenberg, has signed instead for the less competitive Force India, while Lotus replaces the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen with the lucratively-sponsored Pastor Maldonado.

And another troubling sign emerged from Lotus’ headquarters this week, when test driver Nicolas Prost tweeted that Monday was the “last day” of simulator testing of the 2013-specification E21.

“Now flat out on 2014 car!” the Frenchman added.

The team’s continuing race driver Romain Grosjean has also admitted that he is yet to drive the 2014 Lotus in the simulator.

“I hope to do this in late December,” he told Brazil’s Totalrace.

Asked why Lotus’ preparations have been so delayed, Grosjean answered: “It is because [the simulator] is a new tool for us.

“We are still working to make it as accurate as possible. When we get this synchronicity between the behaviour of the car on the track and in the simulator, we can change the focus to the car of next year,” he explained. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • captain tortuga

    Serves them right! I hope the are a total failure next year. giving the most incompetent driver in decades a seat. Blegh!

    +Screw Lotus+

  • Doombeard

    That’s a little harsh. I disagree with giving the seat to pastor as well but do understand that without money, there would be no E22. Hopefully they can do with Pastor what they did with Romain. I am a Lotus fan, but I do fear for them next year. Such is the state of F1 at the moment

  • Taskmaster

    It would be unfortunate if Grosjean suffers a setback after such a nice close to 2013. While it’s a little surprising to hear that Lotus has not had a workable simulator until now, one has to wonder how many other teams are in the same boat. With so much changing for 2014, this seems a serious liability, creating even more of a gap between the top high budget teams with all the toys, and the rest of the grid. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as they say.

  • matthew

    So lotus is either behind or they have the most accurate simulator. I’m sure it’s the former, but here’s hoping its the latter!

  • Garth

    Lotus were competative in 2013 but a tough time for them financially lies ahead, and the only simulator they have up and running at the moment is the one that pumps out comedy