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Lotus confident of no Catalunya repeat
11 February 2013
Lotus technical director James Allison says he is confident that the team won't suffer a repeat of the issues that affected it during the second pre-season test of the F1 campaign twelve months ago.
As was the case last year, Lotus started testing with a strong showing at Jerez with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both on the pace with the new E21.
The team now heads to Catalunya for the next session of the year eager to maintain the kind of form it showed last week, while also seeking to avoid a repeat of the drama it suffered when the field arrived in Barcelona last year.
Then, a suspension issue saw the team halt its programme on the opening day and forced it to sit out the remainder of the week – something Allison said he was sure wouldn't occur again this time around.
“We had a problem last year because we designed a single joint poorly,” Allison said. “We had created a suspension mounting which was capable of withstanding the loads if it had been made absolutely perfectly. However, that style of joint was very difficult to make accurately enough to get repeatable performance from each chassis.
“We ran chassis #01 at Jerez and the suspension joint in this chassis was good enough to cope with the loads. We ran chassis #02 at Barcelona and the joint in this one was made just a whisker differently; it was not capable of taking the loads and so failed instantly. Once we realised our error we redesigned the joint so that the glue lines were capable of delivering the required strength without any scatter from chassis to chassis.
“On the E21 we've paid particular attention to this area so we're not expecting any repeat dramas.”
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