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Lotus wants to be in the top ten: technology replenishment for Australia

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Lotus wants to be in the top ten
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T he accident of Pastor Maldonado ended the test program of Lotus prematurely. The Venezuelan had slipped into the tire wall due to a brake failure. When braking into turn 4, the front wheels locked. The team's odometer read 4,208. It could have been more if Lotus hadn't had to skip the first day of testing in Jerez.

Despite the late start, the test phase went off without any major drama. Sensors reported the alarm twice and the engine switched off automatically. After consulting Mercedes, Lotus was allowed to increase the limit values.

The team didn't have to change the drive source once. 'I've never seen anything like it,' said chief engineer Alan Permane. 'You install the engine and it runs like clockwork. Almost like a production car.'

Barcelona upgrades did not make Lotus faster

In terms of speed, Lotus was up after three Best times in the second week of testing at the grand finale in Barcelona expected more. But then you couldn't get to Romain Grosjean's best time of the eighth test day with 1.24.067 minutes. Grosjean missed it by 0.133 seconds, despite new parts on the Lotus E23.

For the last 4 days of testing, the Lotus had been upgraded with a new geometry on the front axle, a monkey seat, modified rear brake scoops and front wing modifications. 'We're playing back and forth between three front wing specs,' reveals Permane. The conversion of the front axle brought progress in slow corners.

Mercedes engine with more power in the race

For Melbourne wants the aerodynamics department to deliver. Changes to the front brake vents, the front wing flaps and the diffuser are in progress. Perhaps then the hoped-for time gain will come, which did not want to happen in Barcelona.

Permane assesses the situation before the first race as follows: 'We have made a massive step compared to 2014. The top ten are now on its own. Mercedes is unreachable. But we are also not on the level of Williams and Ferrari. We can't make any sense of Red Bull. '

Like Force India, Lotus is placing its hopes less on qualifying but more on the race. Because of the Mercedes engine. On one lap, Ferrari and Renault made up ground in terms of power. But the new Mercedes V6 turbo has increased especially in the race. Itthere is no longer the moment when the electric juice runs out at the end of the lap.

The MGU-H fills the turbo lag so cleverly and fills the holes in the battery system so efficiently that you get the full 33 seconds of electric power every lap can feed into the drive from the battery. This allows the wastegate to blow off more frequently, which reduces the exhaust gas back pressure for the combustion engine and provides extra power from there.

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