Lotus is to miss the first 2014 Formula 1 pre-season test at Jerez in Spain.
Just three weeks before the new 2014 cars are scheduled to run for the first time, Lotus has revealed that its E22 will not join the other teams in the test that starts on Jan. 28. Lotus technical director Nick Chester said that the team instead planned to launch its car after Jerez, prior to it running for the first time at the subsequent Bahrain test that begins on Feb. 19.
“We’re going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams,” he said. “We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development program.
“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.”
Chester added that Lotus had passed some of the mandatory FIA crash tests with its new car and only needed to complete the nose crash test now.
“We’ve undertaken chassis fits for Romain [Grosjean] and Pastor [Maldonado]. Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges.”
Although missing the Jerez test will cost Lotus the chance to get valuable mileage on the 2014 car, Chester said he was still upbeat about the potential of the E22.
“From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive,” he said. “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.”