Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi believes that the planned upgrades for the E23 Hybrid car could “open some eyes” at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The British team has enjoyed a mixed start to the 2015 season, picking up 12 points courtesy of Romain Grosjean after two seventh-place finishes.
A lack of reliability and, in some cases, bad luck has seen a number of further points-scoring opportunities pass the team by, but the Enstone operation remains upbeat heading to the European leg of the 2015 Formula 1 season.
Speaking ahead of next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Gastaldi said that Lotus has been working hard on the updated parts that are due for the race in Barcelona, and he thinks that the improved performance they offer could surprise many within the paddock.
“We’ve been working hard on improving the E23 and how we use it, whether through the progress made in our technical debriefs, or the parts being fabricated here in Enstone,” Gastaldi explained.
“There’s potential for some things which could open some eyes in Barcelona and then at the next race in Monaco too. It’s fair to say it’s busy times at Enstone.”
Gastaldi was full of praise for Grosjean ahead of the race after his solid start to the season, but believes that there is still more to come from the Frenchman in 2015.
“Romain delivered another textbook driving display in Bahrain and he continues to impress us and other seasoned F1 observers with his on track prowess,” Gastaldi said. “He is very focused this year and this means he’s making the most of every moment in the car.
“We know as soon as we can unlock a little more pace from the E23, there will be even stronger results to come.”
In the sister car, Pastor Maldonado has been less fortunate, and currently sits at the bottom of the drivers’ championship with just one finish to his name, coming home 15th in Bahrain.
“We’re still waiting for those first 2015 points with Pastor and no-one wants them more than the man himself,” Gastaldi said. “Pastor is driving really well and has been the victim of other drivers’ mistakes rather too much this year.
“We know he likes the E23 and can get it to deliver very good pace. Pastor enjoyed great success in Barcelona a few years ago so hopefully that is a good omen for him.”