Current brake-by-wire unsettling for Lotus drivers

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Lotus technical director Nick Chester points to Renault's energy recovery systems in his belief that Lotus will unlikely be a front runner at Melbourne in two weeks time.

While Romain Grosjean called for calm and ousted his confidence in Renault to get its act together, Nick Chester says the unpredictable behaviour of the energy recovery systems make it very hard for the drivers to get a consistent feel for the car.

The culprit at the moment appears to be the brake-by-wire system, designed to modulate braking power on the rear wheels while energy is being harvested from the wheels. The idea of allowing such new brake-by-wire systems this year was exactly to enable teams to make braking behaviour for the drivers consistent, but so far, Renault have not managed to get on top of it.

"With the chassis itself the level of grip isn't too bad, even though we've lost a little bit of downforce," Chester told Crash Media.

"The biggest problems are how the chassis works with the power unit and how the energy recovery system works. So there are some inconsistencies there which are making it very difficult for the driver to predict what he is going to get when he arrives at the corner.

"So the system is not doing exactly the same thing every time and that is disturbing the driver and losing us a lot of time."

The Englishman reiterated that Renault was doing all it can do recover from the dire situation, but that it is impossible right now to put a timeframe on that. He did concede that it would take the Enstone based team a considerable amount of time before the E22 would compete at the front.


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