Trackside operations director Alan Permane says he feels Lotus is in good shape heading into the final four rounds of the 2013 season, starting next weekend in India.
The Enstone-based team has been one of the top performers in recent races, with a double podium in Korea being followed by a star drive from Romain Grosjean
in Japan, where he was the only driver able to keep pace with Red Bull
pair Sebastian Vettel
and Mark Webber.
Recent results have come on the back of Lotus switching to a longer wheelbase version of the E21 and Permane said he felt confident that the car would be strong when the teams hit the track at the Buddh International Circuit
“From our perspective there's no doubt that the long wheelbase car has benefitted our performance,” he said. “It's difficult to put a figure on it with the fundamental change it has been, but it's an endorsement of all the simulator and modelling work we did in this area.
“We're qualifying better, racing better and we've been on the podium for the last three races at a variety of tracks from Singapore to Suzuka. These are about as different as you can get – one being a street circuit with super soft tyres, the other a very quick, flowing circuit on hard tyres – but it's clear that the E21 is working well on all variety of layouts.
“Add this to our increasing knowledge of the tyres, a few aerodynamic tweaks and both drivers being at the top of their game, and we're looking good.”
Permane added that the tyre choice made by Pirelli for the Indian race was one that should spice up the action, but should also suit the Lotus car.
“The change from hard and soft last year to medium and soft this year should make for quite a different race, where we saw one-stop strategies driven by the hard tyre allocation,” he said. “Last year the performance gap between the tyres meant that everyone qualified on the soft and raced on the hard after a single stop. This year, the soft and medium compound open up the strategic permutations.
“With this season's tyres also being a step softer than last year's soft tyre, we have softer tyres to both qualify and race with. It could be a far more interesting race with strategy split between two and three stops.
“Although we saw in Suzuka that we can compete on the harder tyres, our car generally favours the softer compounds making this a race where we're very much looking forward to continuing our run of strong recent performances.”