Lotus is the first team to confirm that it is skipping the Jerez test at the end of this month, and the Enstone outfit will instead debut its 2014 car at the second test in Bahrain.
In effect teams a choice between missing the test and opting for extra R&D time, or attending it and spending the interval before Bahrain reacting to what was learned.
Lotus technical director Nick Chester said: “We’re going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams. We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development program. We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions.”
Despite the delay, Chester insists that all is going well with the new car.
“From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive. That said, we are very much working with very little idea of what the other teams are doing. This is the first year of radically different regulations which means that all teams are developing their cars along potentially quite different avenues. It’s fascinating for us engineers and I hope it is fascinating for the fans too. We think we have a very good solution to the challenge and hopefully this will be seen when the E22 turns its wheels in anger.
“We’ve made very good progress with the various homologation tests which took place before Christmas including chassis squeeze and side impact loading tests as well as the rear crash structure, meaning we just have the nose test to complete the car’s homologation. We’ve undertaken chassis fits for Romain and Pastor. Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges.”Formula 1, Jerez, Lotus