Lotus admit Monaco may not suit their car but they go prepared
21 May, 2012
May 21 (Apex) Lotus technical director James Allison admits that their pace setting Lotus E20 might not be as effective around the streets of Monaco as it has been on conventional circuits, but the team go to the principality on the offensive with a host of upgrades in the cargo trucks and the confidence that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean can make a difference.
Speaking ahead of the four days in Monte Carlo, Allison said, “There is a [line] of thought that Monaco might not play to the strengths of our car.”
To counter the theory he revealed, “We’ve got a bigger rear wing as you need more downforce at Monaco than you need anywhere else. If you look closer, or if you are a very keen fan of bodywork changes then you’ll see that the area around the side pods and the rear drums will be different too. We have to make modifications to the suspension to enable the necessary lock to get around Loews Hairpin and Rascasse. We have also made some changes, for Kimi in particular, to make the steering a little more reactive for Monaco.”
Allison believes it is not all doom and gloom for the team as they head for round six of the Formula One world championship, “There are other things about Monaco that are different entirely, which are much harder to gauge. For starters the corners are so slow that the strength we’ve seen in very fast corners compared with moderate corners is not really any sort of form guide for competitiveness around Monaco’s twists and turns.”
“Secondly, driver skill plays a relatively bigger part at Monaco than at most tracks, and we are fortunate to have a pair of decent peddlers. Finally, a large part of Monaco is confidence from the driver. Confidence that they can lean on the car and know that it’s not going to misbehave. So far, the E20 has proved to be a very predictable, straight-forward car to drive. So hopefully they will be able to lean on it to good effect. We’ll have to see,” said Allison.
Subbed by AJN.