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Lotus target overtaking Red Bull

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 15-06-2015

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Lotus say they are ready to power on in their pursuit of fourth-placed Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship after a breakthrough performance for the Enstone team in Canada. 

For the first time this season, both of the Mercedes-powered E23 cars finished in the points at Montreal with the team finally converting their latent pace into profit. Although Red Bull continue to hold a healthy points advantage over their rivals in the Constructors' Championship, with Lotus’ tally of 23 points less than half the amount the former wold champions currently hold, Lotus technical director Nick Chester is confident his team can make further inroads in upcoming events – starting with Red Bull’s home race, the Austrian GP.

"There’s nothing to say we can’t perform as we did in Montreal," Chester told Lotus' official website. "There doesn’t seem to be anything to strike fear into the team, in fact the next races present us with a good opportunity to move up the order. Austria should be strong, Silverstone should be good as it’s also a power circuit if a little more of a challenge with some of the high speed corners and we went quite well in Barcelona with quite a similar set-up.

“Budapest should be quite fine as we’ve shown that we can deal with low speed corners well and traction has been promising. Spa and Monza should also be strong with their power demands. We’re showing well on all types of track so we’ve good confidence for the season ahead.”

Despite its modest results, the E23 has already proved itself to be a substantial upgrade on the slow and unpredictable E22. However, although fast and consistent, this year’s Lotus has tended to be faster on Sundays than Saturdays – a tendency the team are now seeking to address.

“There’s some truth in that and we’re spending a lot of time analysing our tyre temperatures to see what lessons can be learnt,” added Chester. “Generally our drivers report an understeery car in qualifying but a more balanced car in the race, whereas this time the feedback was more of a well-balanced car in qualifying but some oversteer in the race. It’s our task to try to get the optimum for both scenarios. Certainly from the Barcelona test onwards we have made a step forward in understanding and optimising the car.

“In Monaco we were able to harness the low-speed corner potential and we saw some of this in Montréal where we had a particularly good balance. It’s proving to be quite an easy car to set-up and we’re continually making improvements.”

Meanwhile, Lotus announced last week that GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer will appear in at least five more P1 sessions this year, including all of the remaining Friday morning events in Europe.

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