Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi insists that the Enstone squad is still looking for results in 2014, despite having switched some of its attention to next year's car.
Having been a racewinner in each of the previous two seasons, Lotus currently languishes eighth overall in the constructors' standings, with only Romain Grosjean's back-to-back eighth places from Spain and Monaco to show for its efforts with the recalcitrant E22. Despite the frustration, however, Gastaldi maintains that the team is not ready to give up on 2014.
“We remain ultra-focused on improving the package we have in 2014, and gathering more points for the team,” he claimed, “We are only 50 per cent of the way through 2014 now, so we are still highly committed to improving our world championship position and to start scoring more points. We know that we have two very accomplished drivers that are always capable of scoring points, but we need to provide them with cars that can achieve that.
“We are always looking to the future whether it is short or long-term. One thing I know about F1 people - and especially 'our people' - is that they never stop thinking about F1 and how to improve things for the team. We have to take the lessons from this tough season and apply them to make sure it doesn't happen again.
“The philosophy is to make the maximum of what we have in 2014 but, of course, at the same time we have already started on the car for 2015. The plans for next year are in motion and the technical teams are busy on that programme but, for the team, it is important to make sure we score more points, so we will be chasing everyone all the way until Abu Dhabi in November.”
With Pastor Maldonado already locked up for 2015 and the team keen to re-sign Grosjean, Gastaldi admitted that it would be nice for the drivers to have something to celebrate before the year was out.
“It was pleasing for Pastor to have a solid race and come home on the edge of the points at Hockenheim - after a tough qualifying he dug very deep and showed his racing instincts,” he remarked, “For Romain, it was very tough to have a cooling system failure, a very rare issue to have. He was unlucky because he had a good chance to collect some points to add to his tally.
“It was important to get to the end of the race and collect vital data on the E22 without its non-hydraulic connected suspension system. I can't say we are satisfied with the result because we aim to get rewarded for the effort and skill we put in to racing, but there will be days when we get those rewards, I'm sure.”