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Lotus hoping for 'big step forward' with Silverstone upgrades 21 Jun 2013

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 (L to R): Alan Permane (GBR) Lotus F1 Race Engineer and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 11 May 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013

Lotus are hopeful that the package of upgrades they’re introducing to the E21 for the 2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend will enable them to take their ‘biggest step forward of the year’.

Having scored a win and four other podiums in the first five races of the season, the team seemed to lose ground in Monaco and Canada with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean combining for just three points across the two events.

But speaking about the team’s Silverstone upgrade, Lotus track operations director Alan Permane indicated there was every reason to be optimistic: "We have a tighter, figure-hugging bodywork package which should give some benefit; especially if the weather is quite cool at Silverstone.

"There's a new front wing, suspension profiles and suspension upgrades in addition to various other aero upgrades, which combine to give us what should be our biggest step forward of the year. This is a good thing, of course, but we’ll be running them in the context of all our rivals probably unveiling significant upgrade packs too.

“We conducted a couple of days of straight-line running after Canada with positive results and some of the fruits of this work should be seen in Silverstone.”

Raikkonen, who’s seen his deficit to championship leader Sebastian Vettel grow from four to 44 points over the past two races, is also hopeful of getting back on the front foot at Silverstone: “The last couple of races have been more a question of surviving not attacking and that’s not what anyone wants.

“That said, Monaco and Montreal are both street circuits; they’re quite different from a lot of tracks we visit and there are quite a lot of variables. You never know how you’re going to go at those two tracks but we do now and at least we got a few points.

“Silverstone is a more normal circuit and we’ve been okay at every other permanent circuit so far this year. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be back to the positions we should be with this package.”

Lotus lie fourth in the constructor standings, with 114 points to Mercedes' 134, Ferrari's 145 and Red Bull's 201. In the drivers' table Raikkonen is now third behind Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

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