Grosjean impressed by new Lotus E23 car

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Romain Grosjean may have only managed 53 laps during the first pre-season test in Jerez earlier this week, but he remains full of praise for his Lotus team after feeling significant progress with the new E23 Hybrid car.

Grosjean had been due to enjoy two days of running at the F1 test, only for a delay in the factory to prevent the team from getting out on track until Monday, when Pastor Maldonado was given Grosjean’s allocation.

This meant that the Frenchman did not get his first taste of the E23 until Wednesday, but he was pleased with his first test despite being limited to just 53 laps due to a power unit issue.

“My first impressions of the E23 Hybrid are good,” Grosjean said. “Both the power unit and the chassis are going in the right direction. I completed over fifty laps today and I can honestly say that all of them were enjoyable to drive.

“The team has made very good progress if you consider where we were this time last year. It’s a very good start and I’m a happy driver.”

Grosjean’s assessment is a stark contrast to his experience in 2014, which saw him score just eight points and battle with a troublesome power unit and chassis throughout the year.

Technical director Nick Chester was also pleased with the team’s time in Jerez, believing that great progress has been made in spite of missing the first day of running.

“Even though it’s been an early end to our final day of running in Jerez, we’ve made fantastic progress over the past few days,” Chester said. “We fired up the E23 Hybrid for the first time at Enstone last Saturday night, ran it for the first time on Monday, then completed a very useful haul of laps over the course of the test.

“Both Romain and Pastor have declared themselves happy with the car and we have a clear direction for future developments. We have a busy week ahead of us at Enstone to make further progress with the E23 and we’re particularly looking forward to the next test in Barcelona.”