Desperate Lotus seek permission for private test

06.02.2012 Jerez, Spain - (l-r) Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Romain Grosjean (FRA) and Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL), Lotus Renault F1 Team - Portrait - Formula1 World Championship Pre-Season Testing - Jerez de la Frontera +++ © Copyright: Stange /
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean

Feb.23 (GMM) Embattled Lotus will ask its Formula 1 rivals for permission to conduct a three-day private test after it has resolved a chassis flaw.

The former Renault team pulled out of this week’s Barcelona test after the unspecified problem was identified early during the opening day’s running on Tuesday.

With pre-season preparations limited to just three tests in 2012, next week’s Barcelona running will be the last before the championship begins in Australia.

F1 race commentator Oskari Saari, working for the Finnish broadcaster MTV3, said Lotus has confirmed to him that it will seek permission to make up for this week’s lost running in the form of a three-day private test.

“As they are based in Britain, then you would think that it would be at Silverstone,” he said.

Recently at Jerez, Mercedes departed the opening pre-season test a day early and then made up for it with a private day of running at Barcelona on Sunday.

But Saari admitted it is possible the other teams will not be keen to allow Lotus to modify its programme, given the pace of the new E20 car at Jerez.

“However, I would imagine it is quite likely that the request will go through,” he said.

“Every now and then, every team sometimes needs a helping hand from the others.”

The mishap has seriously curtailed testing time for their drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, who are both returning to F1 after a couple of years out of action in the top tier of the sport.