Lotus: No test drama for 2013
NEW CONFIDENCE FOR 2013: Lotus believes they have resolved their suspension problems and are confident no repeats will occur during testing at Barcelona.
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
ENGLAND, London, - Lotus is confident the second upcoming pre-season test in Barcelona on February 19 will see no repeat of the failure that halted the Formula 1 team's efforts at the Spanish track in 2012.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean had looked quick in the first test in Jerez in 2012 just as they did at the start of the 2013 season, only for an unexpected problem with the chassis to surface when they got to the Circuit de Catalunya.
The team had to pull out of that 2012 test and return to the factory after Grosjean had done seven laps.
'WE DESIGNED A JOINT POORLY'
Technical director James Allison explained on the team’s website: "We had a problem in 2012 because we designed a single joint poorly. We had created a suspension mounting which was capable of withstanding the loads if it had been made absolutely perfectly."
"However, that style of joint was very difficult to make accurately enough to get repeatable performance from each chassis."
The joint on the chassis used in Jerez in 2012 was fine but the one on the second car taken to Barcelona was slightly different and failed.
"Once we realised our error we redesigned the joint. On the new E21 car we've paid particular attention to this area so we're not expecting any repeat dramas."
Lotus was quickest with Grosjean and Raikkonen on respectively in Jerez during the first testing sessions. Raikkonen, third overall in the 2012 championship, had been quickest on day one at the southern Spanish circuit also in 2012.
Allison said the new car looked both competitive and reliable.