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22 February 2012

Barcelona test finishes early for Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team will not run for the remainder of the second test at Barcelona. scheduled untill Friday.

During initial runs in the morning of  21 February with Romain Grosjean at the wheel, the team identified an issue with the chassis. After investigation at Enstone, initial plans to bring out chassis E20-01 to Barcelona have been held in order to give the team enough time to rectify the situation.

Lotus F1 Team will be back on track next week in Barcelona (1-4 March)

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver: “We completed a few aero runs and then started timed runs, but I was very quickly aware that the car wasn’t responding as it should.  It’s far better that we have an issue like this now rather than in Melbourne.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “This morning was our first shakedown of our second chassis. Once the car was on track it was soon evident that everything wasn’t quite as it should be. As a precaution we are returning the chassis to Enstone for further investigation.

James Allison, Technical Director: “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. 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.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “This is a minor setback to our overall test programme. Fortunately we accumulated good mileage in Jerez. If this is the only issue we have during testing then we will still be well prepared for the start of the season."

“Not running this week has been a tough decision to take, but we feel that our choice is the right one. 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.”