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Lotus expecting competitive surge at Silverstone

27 Jun 2014

Lotus are confident of breaking back into the top-ten pecking order in next weekend’s 2014 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a track the Enstone team believe will play to the strengths of their E22 car.

After apparent progress in Spain and Monaco, where Romain Grosjean recorded successive eighth-place finishes, Lotus struggled last time out in Austria. Neither Grosjean nor team mate Pastor Maldonado made it into Q3 on Saturday, and the best either could manage in the race was the latter’s 12th place.

But rather than signalling a downward trend, Lotus believe their Spielberg form was track specific and are expecting to be far closer to the frontrunners in Great Britain.

"Obviously Silverstone is a very different track to Austria, with many more high-speed corners that will suit our car better," technical director Nick Chester explained.

"We've also got a few updates, including a front wing and floor, some different combinations of aerodynamic parts to try and some new set-up concepts to explore.

"We've shown the car can work well on the medium and hard tyres at Barcelona, another high energy circuit, so that gives us added confidence for Silverstone."

Maldonado, who won at Silverstone in GP2 in both 2009 and '10, said the team cannot be complacent, but the Venezuelan admitted he too is anticipating being more competitive in Great Britain.

"The team and Renault Sport F1 hopefully learnt quite a lot [from Spielberg] - there were many issues to manage, but we but we drove through them to get to the end of the race," he said.

"Hopefully the high speed corners [of Silverstone] will work better with our car and it would be great to be back to where we were in Barcelona which is quite a similar circuit to Silverstone.

"Obviously, at the Barcelona test teams were all running to different programmes, so I don't think we're suddenly going to be the fastest car, but I do expect to be further up the order than we have been at recent races."

Grosjean's brace of eighth-place finishes remain the only points Lotus have scored so far in 2014. The team sits eighth in the constructors' championship as a result, with eight points - six ahead of Marussia and four behind Toro Rosso. Grosjean is 13th overall in the drivers' standings, while Maldonado is one of six drivers yet to score a point this year.