Lotus are paying the price of missing out on the first Formula 1 pre-season test at Jerez in January, according to driver Romain Grosjean who endured a torrid opening day to his season in Melbourne.
He told reporters after the first day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix, “We are not on top of everything right now. That’s when you pay for the fact that you didn’t do much mileage in winter testing.
“It’s hard for everyone and the mechanics especially. I’m paid to be a driver and they have a really tough life at the moment, and I’m very grateful for what they are doing. It’s a bad cycle and when things go wrong they go even more wrong because you take on some delays.
“Unfortunately we will have to learn here. I did hope it wouldn’t be the case and that we would straight away have a good baseline, but the new rules, new tyres and with everything new, it just takes a bit longer than what we are used to.”
“We will try set-ups, we will try things we can do on our own and we will take the update from Renault, which has been working very well to be fair, and then try to discover new things.”
As for reliability We have not done more than ten laps in a row, I believe. There are questions of how tired the brakes will be when we put in the fuel, what is the delta of temperature and how the car will be when we have done a lot of laps and so on. There are a lot of unknowns and we cannot be confident, but we can certainly hope for that.”
Despite setting the 18th fastest time, Grosjean thinks the Lotus is capable of running in the midfield when it is working properly.
“It was hard to drive. We still have to learn a lot of things and it is not yet where we would like it. We will test a few things for tomorrow, but we didn’t do a qualifying-style lap, so I think there is a little bit of fuel and so on.”
“We are mid-pack or somewhere like that, which is not where we want to be, but there are still thousands of things that we need to test on the car and things that broke that should not have broken. Everything is a bit slow and takes time.” (GP247)
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