Chester: Financial issues held Lotus back in 2015

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Lotus technical director Nick Chester believes that the Formula 1 team could have gone a lot further in 2015 had it not been for the financial uncertainty that has blighted much of its season.

Lotus heads into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi holding a nine-point lead over Toro Rosso for sixth place in the constructors’ championship.

After a tough 2014 that yielded just ten points, Lotus has stepped up this year thanks to the new Mercedes power unit, but Chester believes it could have done even better had it not been for the financial issues blighting its future.

“I was pleased with the car in a lot of ways but disappointed in the amount of development,” Chester said. “We made a good basic car that handled well and with which the drivers could extract the maximum from.

“Unfortunately we have not been able to put developments on it due to finances; we could have gone a lot further with it otherwise and that would have been very interesting to see.”

Lotus is set to be bought by Renault ahead of the 2016 season, having avoided administration at the end of September only after the French manufacturer signed a letter of intent.

The deal is still yet to be formally confirmed, but an announcement over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend confirming Renault’s works return to F1 has been speculated.