Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester has confirmed that his team will not be present at Jerez in an attempt to get its new E22 chassis ready in time for the second test at Bahrain.
It was rumoured for a longer while that Lotus would miss the test, having asked others to delay the test in order to be able to participate. Teams that are on schedule declined, making it not suitable for the Enstone based team to participate at Jerez winter testing.
Chester however said the development of the Lotus E22 is on track.
"Our E22 development programme has been ongoing for over two years and it has been illuminating watching it grow", he said. "The backbone of Enstone is strong and we are relishing the challenge of the new season ahead.
"From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive. That said, we are very much working with very little idea of what the other teams are doing. This is the first year of radically different regulations which means that all teams are developing their cars along potentially quite different avenues. It’s fascinating for us engineers and I hope it is fascinating for the fans too. We think we have a very good solution to the challenge and hopefully this will be seen when the E22 turns its wheels in anger.
"Yes, and I think we can still reflect on what a good car the E21 was as it finished the season still looking particularly competitive, and it was the only car able to get close to the Red Bull. There are certain concepts from the E21 which are still valid for the E22, but in particular our development methodology and synchronisation with our various simulations is especially relevant and promising.
"We’ve made very good progress with the various homologation tests which took place before Christmas including chassis squeeze and side impact loading tests as well as the rear crash structure, meaning we just have the nose test to complete the car’s homologation. We’ve undertaken chassis fits for Romain and Pastor. Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges.
"We’re going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams. We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development programme. We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions."
The Jerez winter test is set to commence on 28 January.