Lotus break the spirit of Formula 1 sporting regulations as new E22 flops at Jerez

Lotus are no strangers to testing problems

Lotus are no strangers to testing problems

Mixed reports are emerging from the past weekend’s Lotus ‘promotional event’ at Jerez – which broke the spirit of the 2014 Formula 1 regulations – with the Enstone outfit claiming all went well and according to plan. However, an eye witness claims that little went on, and what did happen on track was not at racing speed.

Despite ignoring a request for comment from GP247 with regards to feedback from the ‘event’, a Lotus spokesperson  released information to select media claiming: “Both the chassis and the new Renault Power Unit ran without any major problems.”

This statement is in itself a breach of the spirit of the 2014 Formula 1 sporting regulations which state: “A PE (Promotional Event) shall be defined as an event in which a competitor participates purely for marketing or promotional purposes.”

The Lotus spokesperson added: “Pastor [Maldonado] settled in very quickly and is already fitting into the team nicely. The car went together well and the design and build quality is another step up on the successful E21 of 2013.”

Romain Grosjean had troubles during testing last year

Romain Grosjean had troubles during testing last year

“We are looking forward to a full testing programme in Bahrain next week where we will start to see the potential of the new package.”

However a source, who works at Jerez and was present at the two day event, revealed that on the first day [Friday] the E22 “hardly ran at all and only emerged from the pit garage late in the day.”

On Saturday the E22 “did do around 20 laps” with either Maldonado or Romain Grosjean in the cockpit. But according to the source the E22 was “not running at testing or racing speeds [and was] actually very slow at times” on the second day, and “runs were limited to a few lap” stints at a time.

Furthermore the source claims they saw no evidence of cameras or TV crews normally present at such promotional events.

The new Lotus E22 hardly did any laps in anger

The new Lotus E22 hardly did any laps in anger

In fact, a cordon of tight security was placed around the former grand prix venue throughout the two days, with several photographers being ushered away during proceedings.

Lotus have now exhausted their two day quota of promotional events, and along with Renault, who bankrolled the episode, have effectively gone against the spirit of the rules if not having actually broken them.

Article 21.1 of the 2014 F1 Sporting Regulations issued by the FIA states: “Each competitor will also be permitted to carry out two Promotional Events (PE) with the cars [built in order to comply with the 2013, 2014 or 2015 Formula One Technical Regulations] which will not be considered TCC [Testing of Current Cars]. A PE shall be defined as an event in which a competitor participates purely for marketing or promotional purposes. No such test may exceed 100 km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used.”

Apparently the Jerez escapade for Lotus, and Renault, was not “purely for marketing or promotional purposes” as the rules specify.

The Lotus E22 features some intriguing innovations

The Lotus E22 features some intriguing innovations

Article 22.1 adds: “In order that an FIA observer may be appointed, competitors must inform the FIA of any planned TCC or PE at least 72 hours before it is due to commence, the following information should be provided.”

It is not known if the FIA sent on observer to ensure that the ‘promotional event’ did not turn into an engine test in the wake of Renault’s debacle at the first pre-season test.

On Saturday, when pressed for comment by GP247 regarding the two day ‘promotional event’ a Lotus spokesperson said: “You’re on the list when we issue any further info.”

This did not transpire, but selected media appeared to get comment instead, while Renault have ignored a request for feedback from the event. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Rockie

    What is the point of this article, is it about GP247′s ego been bruised or what? As every F1 fan or observer could tell that it was more about PU check, that this running was about!

  • quidam

    Everybody know what a shakedown (or PE) is, don’t be naive -))

  • Zigaeflann

    This is such a vindictive report. Even from reading this report i find nothing outrageous about the test. Cmon GP247 we visit this site to read news, not some teen rant

  • quidam

    read autosport report , Renault not quilty :-))

  • TheDudeson

    Maybe if you reported nice things about Lotus they would be nice to you and give you quotes
    You guys gave them the hardest time about Ijaz
    Also reported about late salaries
    No wonder they don’t like you

  • quidam

    “We should point out that no development was pursued during the filming day as stipulated in the sporting regs, rather upgrades trialed in the dyno in Viry were validated,” a spokesperson for the manufacturer added.

  • TheDudeson

    You believe them quidam? don’t be naive -))

  • TheDudeson

    reason we come here is coz autosport are merely a press release portal these days

  • Jadi959

    Unfortunately for Lotus they won’t receive positive press from Grand Prix 247 because Hamilton doesn’t drive for the team. These are the same people that failed to be intellectually honest with themselves and chose Hamilton as driver of the year in 2013. Fortunately for them he is almost guaranteed the WDC for 2014 as it appears the W05 is the absolute class of Formula One.

  • Tamburello1994

    Somebody pissed somebody off apparently . . . . . .

  • BK201

    Earth to GP247: this is the normal use of such “promotional events” in F1. It’s disturbing that a site claiming to be a source of news for F1 is unaware of this.

    The alternative possibility – that GP247 IS aware of this and is simply throwing mud – is even worse.

  • quidam

    Fia must be on the spot if not : no prove not guilty.

  • BarnstableD

    This article completely neglects the fact that this a very common occurrence in F1. So common, in fact, that at least Torro Rosso and Mercedes did the same thing – their own PE shakedown tests – prior to the Jerez test.

    Furthermore, most cars at Jerez were also not running at any notable speed. The idea of a shakedown is to just get the car to fire up and drive a few laps. They were running on PE Pirellis too which are very unlikely to provide any real grip or life if pushed hard.

    Mentioning more than once that GP247 was shunned by Lotus’ media only acts to belittle this site, rather than project badly on Lotus.

  • dizdizzie

    What a rubbish article. Go camp outside FIA headquarters until Lotus is banned for this test..

  • Dr. Azlan

    Lotus should end up dead last because of the nose.

  • bobmendon

    If there is no news some people will just make it up!

  • Ambientereal

    Marketing not only means pictures or videos. Marketing means they should show they are alive to find more sponsors. Lotus has a very aggressive marketing policy. What they did comply with the rules and means no advantage. What they said don´t states that they where on technical tests but that the car did actually run (what is not a negligible result).

  • Resultant Asteroid

    was this article written by little babies?

    “However, an eye witness claims that little went on, and what did happen on track was not at racing speed.”
    contradicts
    ““Both the chassis and the new Renault Power Unit ran without any major problems.”
    This statement is in itself a breach of the spirit of the 2014
    Formula 1 sporting regulations which state: “A PE (Promotional Event)
    shall be defined as an event in which a competitor participates purely
    for marketing or promotional purposes.””

    which will it be gov? did u want it a PE or a testing event? make up ur mind.

    “Apparently the Jerez escapade for Lotus, and Renault, was not “purely
    for marketing or promotional purposes” as the rules specify.”

    Well, it’s not that “apparent” to many people, as we can see from the comments here.

    But I like most the part that quotes Lotus spokesman’s released information (“Both the chassis and the new Renault Power Unit ran without any major problems.”), and comments immediately after it by saying “This statement is in itself a breach of the spirit of the 2014 Formula 1 sporting regulations”. How the Pink Floyd is this a breach of the spirit (or the actual wording even) of the regulations? … BTW, I can come up with the same statement about my car’s trip to work and back, and I’m not doing any testing ofcourse.

  • quidam

    The regulations don’t say a PE is a filming day. You can have guess or what you want and you can say at the end also that everything was good, the new car, the new engine provided by Renault etc …FIA can check Lotus datas .They know the regulations better than you .

  • BK201

    It’s not possible to run an F1 car without ‘testing” that car. You’d think this would be obvious to even the dimmest among us, but it looks like you’d be wrong. Exactly how Lotus were supposed to drive for 100km without testing the engine is a mystery. Perhaps GP247 thinks that the E22 should have been towed around the track with a tractor so as not to “test” it’s own power unit?

    “AJN”, whoever that is, seems to be panic-stricken at the mere possibility that Renault might get their engine problems sorted before the season starts.