Lotus tech chief admits pushing limits of 2013 F1 rules

James Allison (GBR) Lotus Renault GP Team Technical Director Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 1 February 2011.
James Allison

In the wake of the recent engine mapping controversy, Lotus technical director James Allison admits that the Enstone team are pushing the limits of the 2013 F1 regulations, and assumes their rivals are doing the same.

In an interview ahead of the season opening Melbourne weekend Allison said, “As any good team we were pushing the limits to see what is possible and what is not. You have a set of rules, you want to find out where the boundaries are, you do this by asking questions.”

“We were asking questions to the FIA about what’s possible whilst simultaneously testing what we were asking about on the track. By the time the FIA had looked at it and said ‘no you can’t do that’ we’d also found out we didn’t much like it in any case!” revealed the Cambridge graduate.

During testing in Spain the Lotus E21 was more often than not at the sharp end of the timing screens which has instilled optimism at the team’s HQ

Allison does not discount the idea of the F1 title returning to Enstone at the end of the 19 race season, “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility. It looks like we’re entering an exceedingly close season from the evidence we’ve seen so far.”

“Our car doesn’t look bad against the opposition from what we can deduce, and we have a good team and good drivers behind it. It’s certainly closer than last year, but we expected this going into a second season of relatively stable regulations,” predicted Allison. (GP247)