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F1: Lotus Not Alone In Missing First Test - Boullier Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Jan, 10 2014 | 1 Comment

Team boss Eric Boullier on Thursday played down Lotus' decision to sit out the opening test of the 2014 pre-season.

The Enstone based team finished last season a competitive fourth, but also grappling publicly with financial matters.

So the admission this week that Lotus will not be at Jerez, where most other teams will run their all-new V6-powered 2014 cars for the first time, raised renewed alarm bells about Lotus' financial health and competitiveness going forwards.

But Frenchman Boullier said other teams will also be joining Lotus on the sidelines.

"You will see, we will not be the only team not being in Jerez," he told the BBC. "I know this for a fact already."

In the team announcement earlier this week, technical boss Nick Chester said Lotus' decision was because Jerez in late January "isn't ideal for our build and development programme".

But Boullier admitted the E22 will simply "not be ready on time".

"We will be ready shortly after that," he insisted, "and in some ways, it is not bad because we will have time to watch what the others are doing and nobody will be able to watch what we are doing."

However, he also said he has "concerns" about missing the initial four-day test, which will only be followed by eight days of running in Bahrain prior to Melbourne.

"So we have to focus on doing things a little bit differently to make sure we do not lose too much," added Boullier.

(GMM)

 

Missing first test 'not good' for Lotus - Sutil

Adrian Sutil has questioned Lotus' decision to sit out the opening test of the official 2014 pre-season period.

The Enstone based team - who like Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari scored more than 300 points last year - announced this week that attending Jerez late this month "isn't ideal for our build and development programme".

German Sutil will drive for Sauber in 2014, a team that like Lotus publicly struggled with its finances throughout last season.

But the 30-year-old driver indicated Sauber will definitely be at Jerez, where teams will have their first chance to put their 2014 cars through their paces, featuring all-new turbo V6 engines and energy recovery systems.

"This is a very important test," Sutil told Reuters, "and we don't have much (testing) so I think it's clear that it will be a disadvantage for Lotus.

"But who knows why they decided it? I would say it is definitely not good."

Sutil acknowledged, however, that difficult financial circumstances could also continue to hinder Sauber's progress, although he sounded confident the Swiss team will succeed.

"I think it's all in there, they have the knowledge of how to do it," he said.

"If that financial part comes better and better I think this team will make a big step."

(GMM)

 

Valsecchi admits Lotus exit likely

Jan.8 (GMM) Davide Valsecchi has admitted he is likely to vacate his role as Lotus' reserve driver ahead of the 2014 season.

As reigning GP2 champion, but having failed to secure a race seat, Italian Valsecchi, 26, served as Lotus' official reserve driver last year.

But he admitted to being "angry" when, at the tail end of the season, Lotus overlooked him as the replacement for surgery-bound regular Kimi Raikkonen.

"Perhaps I lack experience but what chance do you have to gain any?" he said at the time.

We reported early this week that Lotus looks set to replace the departing Valsecchi with the Eric Boullier-managed, 23-year-old Danish driver Marco Sorensen for 2014.

Valsecchi told Italy's Autosprint: "I have a meeting with Lotus planned for the short term.

"But after a 2013 season in which I travelled a lot but did not get on the track, I want to go back to wearing overalls and a helmet," he insisted.

"I have had several contacts in different categories, but at the moment I have decided nothing definite.

"I realise it is not easy to find something without a big budget, but we are working in this direction," added Valsecchi.

(GMM)

 

McLaren reveals 2014 car launch date

McLaren will launch its 2014 car on 24 January.

We reported recently that the Woking based team was planning to reveal the MP4-29 on the 25th, a Saturday.

But it is believed Ferrari would prefer the 25th for the Maranello launch of its unnamed new car, as Enzo Ferrari always avoided running cars on Fridays for superstitious reasons.

Indeed, McLaren announced officially on Tuesday that it will launch its new car live on the internet on Friday, January 24.

Long-time title sponsor Vodafone has now departed the British team, which will be powered by works Honda engines from 2015.

It is rumoured Sony, the Japanese multinational, could become McLaren's new main backer, possibly complementing a new orange livery as the team prepares to put its Mercedes era in the past.

Official testing kicks off at Jerez a few days after the McLaren launch, and it is there in Spain that several teams, including Mercedes and Red Bull, will roll their 2014 cars onto the tarmac for the world's press.

(GMM)

 

Force India to have unique chassis 'hump' - report

Force India will feature Telmex colours in 2014 and an unique 'hump' on the top of the monocoque, the Italian publication Omnicorse reports.

Swiss rival Sauber announced just before Christmas that, with Mexican Esteban Gutierrez staying on board for 2014, the logos of magnate Carlos Slim's brands Telmex and Telcel will still be worn by the team this year.

Force India, however, has signed McLaren refugee Sergio Perez for 2014, another Mexican driver prominently backed by billionaire Slim.

As well as some details of the 2014 livery, Omnicorse also claims to know that the Silverstone based team's technical boss Andy Green has "a few surprises" for the F1 paddock up his sleeve for when the new VJM07 is unveiled.

The unloved 'step noses' of 2012 mainly disappeared last year, when the FIA allowed teams to install a 'vanity panel' to disguise the unseemly solutions.

But with the bodywork regulations changing yet again in 2014, Omnicorse claims Green's new Force India will have a 'hump' not on the nose, but directly atop the monocoque.

The report speculates that the solution directs more air underneath the car, without compromising the amount of space necessary inside the cockpit.

Vijay Mallya-led Force India finished the 2013 constructors' championship in sixth place.

(GMM)

 

Caterham to unveil 2014 car at Jerez

Caterham has announced it will have its 2014 car ready for the start of official 2014 testing.

Lotus, fourth in 2013 but struggling with financial problems, said earlier this week it will not be at Jerez for the first four-day test, which will feature all-new cars and turbo V6 engines for the first time.

But the other teams are all expected to be in southern Spain, with Jerez one of only three four-day tests scheduled before March's Melbourne season opener.

Adrian Sutil has indicated Sauber, having also struggled financially in 2013, will be at all three tests at Jerez and Bahrain, and backmarker Caterham said on Wednesday it will also have its 2014 car ready to run.

"We'll be at all three tests," the team announced on Twitter, "and we'll unveil the 2014 car on the morning of day one (of the first test), 28 January."

However, Caterham - having fielded Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic in 2013 - is yet to announce its race drivers for the new season.

"Knew we'd forgotten something!" Caterham joked when asked by one of its 160,000 followers if it was "not bothering" about signing drivers for 2014.

(GMM)

 
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