One of the most intriguing aspects of 2015 is the switch by Lotus from Renault to Mercedes power, a move that gives the team that won a race as recently as 2013 a much stronger power unit than it had at its disposal last year.
Trackside operations director Alan Permane is adamant that the team has learned from its disappointing season, and will make a step forward.
“It was hard work but for very little reward, unfortunately,” he told this writer. “We will learn from it and move on. We’ve got a very nice looking package for 2015, so hopefully we’ll do a better job.
“I think after a year of experience we know what you need from these power units and how to operate them. Of course it will be subtly different with the Mercedes, but we’ll be in a better position than we were a year ago.”
Permane draws some inspiration from the way Williams turned things around when it moved to Mercedes: “We hope to do that, quite honestly. Let’s not pretend it’s just engine with them, they did a very nice chassis as well, and we need to do the same.”
The key difference is that Williams brought in some new technical personnel over the past couple of years, that has not been the case at Lotus. However Permane says that is not a concern.
“It’s also good to have continuity. People will tell you what you want to hear. We had a fantastic season in 2013, we did a great car, and you’d say to build on that you’d want to keep the same people and keep going.
“Williams had many years in the doldrums and changes things for the better of course, and did a great job. You look at Red Bull they had the same team for all those championship years. I don’t think changing stuff around for the sake of it is what you want to do.”