Sky Sports F1
pundit Johnny Herbert expects Lotus to 'move forward in a positive way' in Spain.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both shone last time out in Bahrain for the Enstone-based operation, ultimately finishing second and third, although the former did look a real threat at one point to Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel, the eventual winner.
Lotus also went well in testing at Mugello last week, with Grosjean ending the three-day test with the top time.
So could Lotus be right at the front again at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya?
“They have a chance,” Herbert replied to Crash.net
during a recent Sky Sports F1
phone-in. “I was speaking to Anthony Davidson last week, and he thinks the circuit isn't so bad for the tyres. But I personally think it will be.
“In the past it has been - and I know the surface has changed a little bit, but I think the way the window of these tyres seems to be working at the moment, I still presume there is going to be an issue.
“Some people may, as they said after Mugello, understand it a little bit more now. But I think there is an element, at circuit tracks, with circuit conditions, and we still don't know what the conditions will be, I presume they will be reasonably cool in Barcelona, but nobody is going to know what the tyres will work like, and again, that window [in terms of getting the tyres working] will be the very key to it.
“Lotus seems to have a car - and the drivers and maybe the engineers as well, have a little bit of understanding about how to get the car in that window. They have shown speed all the way through the season so far. It just clicked together properly in Bahrain. And so, I think yes [they can win in Spain] and from what we saw in Mugello during testing I think they can move forward in a positive way.
“There is no guarantee however, that the guys that you expect to be quick will be. Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing seem to be back on course, for example. But I don't think they probably are back on course yet because the predictability is so varied at the moment. I don't think anybody can make that call.
“The guys that probably have been most consistent this season, strangely enough, are probably Lotus.”