Lotus have announced this evening that they will be taking no further part in the pre-season test at Barcelona this week.
Romain Grosjean completed just seven laps of the Circuit de Catalunya today, the first of this four day test, before the team identified an ‘issue’ with the chassis.
The team originally suspended all running for the remainder of today, and sent for another chassis from their Enstone factory. However, these plans have now been put on hold whilst Lotus investigate the problem further.
Grosjean and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will be back on track at the next pre-season test on 1st-4th of March, also in Barcelona.
“Not running this week has been a tough decision to take, but we feel that our choice is the right one,” said Lotus team principal Eric Boullier. “On the positive side, we have quickly identified the issue with the chassis and our design office has already devised a solution. We will be present at next week's test in Barcelona. We draw faith from the fact that the E20 was quick out of the box in Jerez and showed its reliability there. We have a lot of work ahead of us over the next week but everyone at Enstone is ready for this challenge.”
Nobody at the team would reveal the exact nature of the problem, but technical director James Allison explained the events behind today’s decision to withdraw. “Before we were due to fly chassis E20-01 out to Barcelona in replacement of chassis E20-02 – damaged this morning – we ran a series of simulations at the factory based on the data provided by our brief running on track today,” he said. “As a result, we were able to identify an area which requires some additional work. It will be more productive for us to carry out these modifications to both chassis at Enstone rather than send E20-01 out to this week's test. We'll put the right measures in place and we will be able to fix the problem before next week.”