Lotus have many upgrades to be tested in Barcelona

Nick Chester with fellow Lotus engineers

Nick Chester with fellow Lotus engineers

Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean can expect a busy Spanish Grand Prix weekend as the team have lined up a large range of updates to be tested during Free Practice.

Speaking ahead of the weekend in Barcelona the team’s technical director Nick Chester explained, “We had a huge amount to get through [in China] because we hadn’t run much in the Bahrain test. We assessed over half of the new parts which is a positive and we have a lot more lined up for Barcelona.”

The team have not delivered so far this season, although there have been occasional flashes of potential which may shift the black and gold cars up the grid, provided they can sort out the gremlins that are affecting the marriage of the finicky Renault power unit to the E22 chassis.

Chester shed light on what can be expected from the Enstone based outfit in Spain, “We’ve got further improvements on engine mapping, which should give us another step forward. We’ve got a new cooling and bodywork package coming – quite a big upgrade – plus some updates to the rear wing and various other bodywork parts.”

“All of the developments that we’ve brought for the car so far have been an improvement, which is highly satisfying and validates the hard work being done back at the factory. We also received more horsepower from Renault Sport F1 in China and I hope we’ll get a further step-up in Barcelona, which will make a massive difference,” predicted Chester.

“There are a lot of aero improvements we want to bring to make the car more predictable for the drivers. We also want to do more work on tyre temperatures. The latest generation of tyres are quite hard in compound and it can be difficult to keep them in the optimum operating window.”

“On the other hand braking is definitely better now. We’ve made some good improvements in terms of how the drivers can control the brakes and manage the power unit during braking,” added Chester. (GP247)