Renault admits Lotus is likely to be "a little bit behind the game" by missing the first pre-season test at Jerez.

Lotus announced earlier this month that it would not be attending the Jerez test because it wants more time developing its new car, the E22. Team principal Eric Boullier said there would be other teams following suit, but the remaining 10 teams have now all confirmed their presence at the first test next week.

Renault's deputy managing director (technical) Rob White thinks the Jerez test will be an important opportunity for all the Renault-supplied teams to make progress, which he says is likely to set Lotus back.

"I guess the first thing to say is that the fundamental power unit is identical between the four teams who use our power unit," White said. "But of course each installation is unique and the objectives for the first test or two are to fully validate the power unit in its environment; it's absolutely the first time that you can bring the whole thing together and turn it on.

"You haven't got the chassis environment at the factory. Obviously we do a great deal to try to simulate as much as we can, but we haven't ever - ahead of the fire-up - brought together every single little piece, sub-system and system, in the exact configuration it will be in that car.

"So the stuff that is shareable and shared between the teams is the stuff that pertains directly to the power unit, not the stuff that pertains to its particular environment. So there's no additional burden on anybody that runs in Jerez relative to anybody that doesn't run in Jerez, it's more that anybody that isn't able to run in Jerez will be a little bit behind the game and that includes the power unit side of the equation."



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