Lotus is hoping improved qualifying form will give it a better chance of scoring an elusive win in the near future.
Romain Grosjean used a one-stop strategy to finish second in Canada, 2.5s behind Lewis Hamilton, having started only seventh. The team has had several near misses this year.
“In qualifying we were struggling a bit, and we have been struggling in qualifying, that is where we need to work,” director of trackside operations Alan Permane told this blog. “I think some of that is driver, and some of that is car. I think Romain would acknowledge himself that he’s not 100% comfortable with things in qualifying, but stick some fuel in it and get into a nice rhythm, and it’s fine.”
Permane says that while Grosjean played a part, it was the car that allowed him to do a long second stint on the soft tyres in Canada.
“I don’t want to take anything away from the drivers, but a lot of it is the car. It’s no accident that two drivers can make a one-stop work in this car, and two drivers in the Ferrari can’t make it work. Fernando is a fantastic driver, and if anyone can make a one-stop work, he can. So that’s down to the car, but the drivers are then doing their bit to make that work for sure.”
Permane says the team was not disappointed with Kimi Raikkonen finishing only eighth, despite being on a similar strategy to third placed Sergio Perez. In fact the Finn finished only a few seconds behind fifth placed Alonso.
“It kind of worked OK, he started 12th and finished eighth, you can’t expect a great deal more than that on a track with low degradation and where it’s very difficult to make up places at the start. I think if we would have started on the option with him we would have just been matching what everybody else did, but we’ll have a look.”
He added that the E20 has the potential to be fast everywhere: “Honestly, I think all tracks will suit us.”