In an interview by Lotus F1, technical director Nick Chester has confirmed that the team will miss the first pre-season test set to take place at the Jerez Circuit in Spain, instead opting to delay the car’s launch until the second test in Bahrain to allow for more R&D.
Deciding between R&D and track time has been one of the concerns for teams this year as they all face major regulation changes for the upcoming season. The choice between attending the test in Jerez and reacting to the developments there, or opting to prepare more for a debut in Bahrain will be a tough decision for many teams, though for Lotus, going to Jerez was not a part of the plan.
In the interview, Chester said: “We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development programme. We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions.”
Despite this delay, Chester is confident of the team’s progress going into the 2014 season, stating that preparation has been underway for some time now.
“Our E22 development programme has been ongoing for over two years and it has been illuminating watching it grow. The backbone of Enstone is strong and we are relishing the challenge of the new season ahead.”
“From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive. That said, we are very much working with very little idea of what the other teams are doing. This is the first year of radically different regulations which means that all teams are developing their cars along potentially quite different avenues. It’s fascinating for us engineers and I hope it is fascinating for the fans too. We think we have a very good solution to the challenge and hopefully this will be seen when the E22 turns its wheels in anger.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic