Lotus has pulled out of the rest of the Barcelona test after a chassis issue materialised this morning.
Romain Grosjean had problems during the first laps with the new 02 chassis, and initially the team decided to stop for today while chassis 01 was flown over.
Further investigations revealed a more serious problem, and the team has decided to resolve it before running again.
It means that both Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen have lost priceless track time this week, although it remains to be seen whether the team can trade the lost days for some extra track time, as Mercedes did with Sunday’s private test.
James Allison said: “Before we were due to fly chassis E20-01 out to Barcelona in replacement of chassis E20-02 – damaged this morning – we ran a series of simulations at the factory based on the data provided by our brief running on track today.
“As a result, we were able to identify an area which requires some additional work. It will be more productive for us to carry out these modifications to both chassis at Enstone rather than send E20-01 out to this week’s test. We’ll put the right measures in place and we will be able to fix the problem before next week.”
“Not running this week has been a tough decision to take, but we feel that our choice is the right one,” said team boss Eric Boullier. “On the positive side, we have quickly identified the issue with the chassis and our design office has already devised a solution.
“We will be present at next week’s test in Barcelona. We draw faith from the fact that the E20 was quick out of the box in Jerez and showed its reliability there. We have a lot of work ahead of us over the next week but everyone at Enstone is ready for this challenge.”