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Lotus set for major upgrade
23 June 2013
Lotus is set to introduce a major upgrade for the British Grand Prix as it seeks to bounce back from a tough run of form in Monaco and Montreal.
The Enstone-based team lost ground in the constructors' championship while Kimi Raikkonen has also slipped down to third in the drivers' championship having only managed a best finish of ninth from the past two races.
Raikkonen believes the team will be able to bounce back at a more traditional venue like Silverstone after two events on non-permanent circuits and trackside operations director Alan Permane said upgrades were planned to give a boost in performance.
“We have a tighter, figure-hugging bodywork package which should give some benefit; especially if the weather is quite cool at Silverstone,” he said. “There's a new front wing, suspension profiles and suspension upgrades in addition to various other aero upgrades, which combine to give us what should be our biggest step forward of the year.
“This is a good thing, of course, but we'll be running them in the context of all our rivals probably unveiling significant upgrade packs too. We conducted a couple of days of straight-line running after Canada with positive results and some of the fruits of this work should be seen in Silverstone.”
Despite bringing in the upgrades however, Permane questioned the impact that Pirelli's tyre allocation would have on the team, with the firm having elected to go for a conservative approach after the issues encountered earlier in the year.
The hard and medium compound rubber will be available to use at Silverstone.
“They certainly seem conservative and contrary to the supposed approach for the tyre allocations in 2013,” Permane said of the allocation for the next three races. “The individual compounds – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – were made softer for each grade this year in order to present teams with a challenge, which is what we saw at some races earlier in the season. That work is undone if you simply allocate harder compounds for races, as we've seen with those nominated for the next three rounds.
“It's certainly unusual to take the same tyres to Hungary as to Bahrain and Silverstone. The situation is quite similar to last year when the allocations went harder late in the year and we just ended up doing one-stop races.
“Of course, there are teams who are eager for the tyres to be more durable; whether through changes to the tyres themselves or changes to the allocations for races. In contrast, we're firmly in the camp that the approach to tyre allocation should remain as agreed by the sport before the start of the season, and not be changed part-way through the year.”
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