Lotus are the first team to confirm that they will not attend the first of three pre-season tests.
The Enstone based team were recently rumoured to be in financial trouble with speculation that they may fold before the season kicks off in March. They had previously asked the FIA for a week-long delay to the first test, which was denied.
“We’re going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams,” Lotus technical director Nick Chester said. “We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development programme.
“We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions.”
He also confirmed that the team have completed several of the mandatory crash tests, “We’ve made very good progress with the various homologation tests which took place before Christmas including chassis squeeze and side impact loading tests as well as the rear crash structure, meaning we just have the nose test to complete the car’s homologation.
“We’ve undertaken chassis fits for Romain and Pastor. Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges.”
The decision to skip the test could be costly for Lotus with the huge shift in regulations towards a ‘greener’ F1 necessitating every possible mile of testing. Lotus will instead have to wait until the second test in Bahrain before they get any on-track feedback.
The first test begins in Jerez on the 28th of January and will be followed by two more in Bahrain. The season gets underway in Australia on the 16th of March .
Image courtesy Lotus F1 Team