27 June 2015
More to come from Lotus, insists Gastaldi
Lotus may have its immediate sights set on reclaiming fifth place in the F1 constructors' fight at Silverstone, but its season-term goals are more lofty than that....
Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi insists that the Enstone operation remains firmly in the fight for fourth position in the F1 constructors' standings.
Although Romain Grosjean's retirement from the recent Austrian Grand Prix allowed Force India, which scored with both its cars, to retake fifth spot in the table, Gastaldi is confident that, as round nine of 19 approaches at Silverstone next weekend, there is still plenty of time to make an impact.
“Force India jumped us in Austria, but we did get closer to Red Bull in fourth position,” he points out, “We were unfortunate to have to retire Romain, but Pastor [Maldonado] showed the pace and potential of our package once more. If we get both cars across the finish line in the points [at Silverstone], we should make good inroads to the gap to those currently ahead of us.”
Key to that goal will be the ongoing development of the E23 and, despite there being no testing opportunities between now and the end of the season, Gastaldi remains optimistic that the full potential of the car is nowhere near exhausted.
“There's still over half of the season left to go, so there is plenty of opportunity for us to move forwards and we will be fighting all the way!” he claims, “It's certainly different this year with no end-of-season test, but it's the same for everyone. I know from speaking to our technical department that there are still things to come from the car and we will continue to get faster as the season progresses. Certainly, the feedback was positive after the test in Austria so we're looking forward to putting everything into practice for a super Silverstone weekend!”
Like many of the UK-based teams, Silverstone is very much a 'home' race, with the circuit being within a stone's throw of their factories, and Gastaldi is keen to give those who don't often get to races a chance to see the cars in action – and in contention.
“For so many people in motorsport, Silverstone is like a home from home and has been part of so many of our histories,” he notes, “It's a great circuit which gives drivers and engineers something to think about - and the crowd's enthusiasm and knowledge is legendary, so we can't wait for the event to start.
“I think we can do well. We keep showing the pace of the E23 at different tracks and both Romain and Pastor are doing a superb job. Our race weekends are running quite smoothly, and we arrive [at Silverstone] off the back of a positive test in Austria. This year, we are arriving at each venue very positive of a decent result and Silverstone is no different.
“From a motivation point of view, we never lack that, wherever we race, but there is still an added ambience to a race that is on our doorstep. We want to achieve something for everyone at Enstone to have an extra special spring in their step on the Monday after the British Grand Prix.”
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