2015 F1

F1 2015 Australian GP Preview – Lotus – A new era of Enstone

“If I see that and we open our points account I’ll consider that a good start to a new era for Enstone – Federico Gastaldi, Lotus deputy team principal”

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Pre-season test strongly indicates that, Lotus must hunt points in this season, and again they will grab upper-middle place in constructors’ championship.

The E23 is very aggressive with new Mercedes power-unit, they are proved much fastest in Soft-rubber, Grosjean and Maldonado says that car id made big step forward over the unliked Renault-powered E22.

Romain Grosjean

“Albert Park is still one of my favourite Grand Prix circuits, so it will be good to get there and get the season started and there’s always a great atmosphere. It’s a fantastic track and the changing scenery as you drive through the park is incredible. Of course it’s a great country and I always enjoy visiting Australia, although as someone who loves their sleep, I still haven’t found the perfect strategy to counter jet-lag!

”We know it can be a tricky circuit; it’s not a permanent track so the surface and its layout gives us plenty to think about. We’re still quite early in our understanding of the E23 and how it works so we’ll be kept busy finding the correct set-up and getting everything working as we want it to. The weather can make things pretty difficult too – three years ago we had lots of rain and even had to finish qualifying on Sunday morning! Hopefully the weather will be good this year!

“You can say that everyone will be in the same position of not knowing what to expect, and with all the car changes I imagine there will be a few surprises! For us the weekend will be maximising the time on track, aiming to finish the race and getting the best result possible.”

Pastor Maldonado

“I’m very excited and I can’t wait to start racing again. We have a new car, it’s a new season, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been before, so we’re all eager to get back to action.

”I’m happy with what we’ve learnt this winter, and it’s a completely different situation from last year. We’re much stronger and better prepared for 2015. We’ve done more than 4,500km in testing so it’s interesting what we’ve learnt and we’ll be able to put everything into practice in Australia and with the development of the car.

”My feeling is this car is much better that last year’s car and not just in one area but with every aspect of the car. Obviously, it’s been good to work with the Mercedes power unit, but that’s just one part as the whole package is very promising and it looks to have good potential for the rest of the year.”

Federico Gastaldi, Lotus deputy team principal

“We’re eager and excited. The Australian Grand Prix represents the start of a new era for us as we embark on a new journey with Mercedes as a partner. We’ve seen positive things through pre-season testing so we can’t wait to be tested in the heat of competition. We have a dedicated team at Enstone who have been working very hard to put the challenges of last year behind us and they’ve created an exciting new car in the E23 Hybrid. We have two race drivers who are very motivated to perform and a great set-up and infrastructure which has enjoyed considerable success in the past. We’re ready to be fighting for points at every turn.

“Albert Park can be a difficult mistress as it’s a non-permanent race track and the Melbourne weather can always play tricks on you, but we want to run reliably and show strong pace across the weekend. If I see that and we open our points account I’ll consider that a good start to a new era for Enstone.”

Nick Chester, Lotus technical director

“We’re cautiously optimistic (heading to Albert Park). We have what looks to be a solid car, we’ve got the same power unit as the reigning champions – so we know its potential – and we’ve got every opportunity to start the season well.

“We know that the power unit is a big step forward. It has strong performance and response and it’s extremely reliable; we’ve only used one unit throughout testing. The chassis is also a step forward as the drivers can get a lot more from it and it’s easier to drive on the limit as well as being more predictable. We have a great platform from which to develop.

“There will be a few small changes [on the car since testing], but nothing drastic. There were new parts coming through testing and we know our preferred options for aero components after working on all the data generated. We expect to bring further new parts from Malaysia onwards.”

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