Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Sepang, 2011

Gascoyne: Lotus aiming for points in Spain

2011 F1 season

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Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne believes the team will be able to challenge for points after the next race in Turkey.

In a video on the team’s YouTube channel he said: “If we look at scoring points, really we have to look at Barcelona onwards. I think the updates to the car are going to be very significant.”

The team’s best finish so far this year is Jarno Trulli’s 13th place in Melbourne. Lotus are bringing a major update to their car at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Gascoyne also said the team are close to colving their tyre warm-up problems that has harmed them in cool temperatures: “I think in general we’re reasonably pleased. Four out of six finishes in races, showed good pace in races, China especially. Qualified very well in Malaysia, very close to the teams in front.

“I think the one negative is we’ve suffered a little bit in qualifying on one-lap pace, especially in cooler conditions. But I think that’s something we’re getting on top of and I think coming up to the next few races won’t be a problem.”

The team are conducting a straight-line aerodynamic test with their car at Duxford tomorrow, where they will also make an announcement about the future of the team.

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Keith Collantine
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38 comments on “Gascoyne: Lotus aiming for points in Spain”

  1. Only time will tell if he is being overtly optimistic or high-headed. If true this opens up the ‘battle for the mid-field’ which is already too congested. What a season this is turning out to be :)

  2. It’s still going to be a big ask, China was a funny race which didn’t necessarily represent all of the teams true order in terms of pace.

    I still think the likes of Sauber, Toro Rosso and FI will have the advantage over them and develop their cars more efficiently, so if Catalunya is a dry race I don’t hold a lot of hope for them.

    Maybe HRT can get some points? =P

    Although….

    1. Surely they will need some of the mid-field teams to have troubles if tthey want to battle then, but even if they manage to equal them in performances, it is not certain that they will score points.

    2. I agree that Sauber, Torro Rosso, FI, etc. will have an advantage over Lotus, but I don’t agree necessarily that those teams will be able to develop at a faster pace than Lotus. Some will, some may not. Arguably the further back you are on pace the easier it is to make significant jumps in performance, and the closer you get to the front, the harder it becomes to eke more performance out of the car. That said I think Gascoyne and Co. are likely clever enough to develop at a similar pace to most midfield teams.

      1. And Gascoyne actually says, that they are looking to getting into the points from Barcelona onwards, not that it will be at Barcelona already.

        That means he expects their exhaust update and the aero updates coming in until Barcelona to make them get closer and be able to get into the top 10 with a bit of luck in the races following that.

    3. It does sound a LITTLE optimistic. Surely Williams will be in a better position than they were in China?

  3. I believe securing pts is hard, but perfectly possible for Team Lotus.Looking at their development rate and how much they have achieved in less than 2 yrs is amazing, AND, don’t forget during a race strategy and luck is also required (ex : Lotus beating Maldonado’s Williams, and also crashes or reliability glitches from other teams possibly) This means it really is perfectly possible to score pts. Wish them all the best !

  4. It’s funny to think that of the “New Teams” the most successful one is the one that was the 14th back up team.

  5. I dont believe their development rate is fast enough. At the moment any change is a good change simply because of how bad their car is.

    Once they have all the obvious upgrades on the car (which the other mid-field teams already had on in testing), they will be months behind in refinement of their package.

    If they score points this year, its going to be thanks to other teams unlucky misfortune and not due to the speed of their package.

    1. I gotta agree. I just dont think they have the pace yet, and its not like they are the only team to have upgrades planned for Barcelona. FI, Toro Rosso, Williams and Sauber all have KERS, and that definitely makes Lotus’ chances even slimmer. Luck is the only thing that could get them into the points.

  6. Maybe tomorrow they will already present us with a caterham design on their car. I think orange would be quite nice.

  7. If the other teams didn’t have an upgrade coming then they would have a chance but the fact is they are still a good 1-2 seconds a lap away from the point where they can fight for points and on top of that, the other teams all have some major update coming up, if its a dry race, they have the same chances are HRT do for points, (close to zero). i really hope i’m wrong, it would be great to see so many teams fighting for that 6th place!

    1. 6th place? That was an age ago, back when Schumacher was going at it hammer and tongs with Hakkinen! I dont think its been 6th since around 2004?

      1. Maybe he meant 6th best team .. so you get the chance to take a position off the 5th best team occasionally. Otherwise I don’t know.

      2. I meant 6th place in the overall constructors table.

  8. … Didn’t they say they were aiming for points in Malaysia?

    1. Surely PR at their home race, to drum up home support ect..

      1. Almost certainly – they have a habit of taking any opening they can get, no matter how small – but it just seems like poor form when they keep pushing their self-imposed deadline for points back.

  9. This guy gets in my skin, just because they beat one midfield driver (ehh!!!) they got the license to amplify everything around, some very naive statements, “looks like a championship winning car”,”will score 40-50 points”, “will embarrass established midfield teams”
    I really want this team to do well, but more they blabber more I get repulsive

    1. Agree with you, remember what he said last year? That they would start picking off force indias by mid season… he needs to learn not to make a fool of himself that often.

  10. Montreal is probably their first realistic hope of points this year.

    I think they’re a decent chance of getting into Q2 in Monaco as well, considering it will be down to Lotus’ experience (including a Monaco winner in Trulli) versus rookies such as Maldonado and Perez.

    1. Apparently Maldonado is a bit of a Monaco specialist, and Perez has been pretty decent so far, so they might not stand much of a chance there either!

      1. Well Maldonado was in GP2 long enough and I honestly can’t see him being much better there than anywhere else.

  11. i think they will finish w/o points this year. to be in points they will have to finish ahead of Williams, Sauber, STR, FI & Ferrari or Renaults.

    1. I wouldn’t go as far as no points. I think a 10th place in one race is possible. Just not in the first half of the season.

  12. A bit of luck or rain could give them a real chance of getting some small points, especially at tracks like Monaco and Hungary but unless the other midfield teams fail to bring effective update packages they seem to be too slow to get anywhere in the dry

  13. I would love to see them moving up and occasionally scoring points, but as others have suggested, I too dont think its very likely..

  14. I think Barcelona is the wrong target for Team Lotus. I think with a few well-judged upgrades they could be right in with the midfield (let’s not forget they’ve got the whole back ond of last year’s Red Bull).

    However, Barcelona is where the teams with absolutely top-notch aerodynamics win – it’ll be a Red Bull walkover up front, but I expect Sauber and Williams to go well there too. So there will be very little in the way of opportunity. Other races such as Monaco, Valencia and Montreal however – yes, I can definitely see them picking up some points.

  15. That is quite a wild prediction, would mean some serious failings of strategy, reliability or speed from those further up the field.

    This is based on beating one “midfield” driver in one race.

    Could be true if no one else developed their car in the same period, would rather they were realistic than constantly talking up slim chances.

  16. Sorry to be a pessimist but there is no way they’ll get points at spain. I like Lotus, but they have a long way to go before they start scoring points!

  17. They won’t be the only team to get significant upgrades though..

    1. It’s all relative really. Just a case of how relative.

  18. I’m surprised no one has mentioned Super Aguri yet. Why so? They scored their very first F1 point in 2007 – at the Spanish GP.

    Yes, Lotus is working on a brand-new car, while SA inherited a solid 2006 car. But the point remains that a team towards the back can still score a point here. It also helps their cause that points go down to 10th now instead of 8th.

    It’s still a hard ask, but it’s certainly very possible.

    1. Alonso_McLaren (@)
      27th April 2011, 1:31

      The “solid” Super Aguri car was the 2002 Arrow car…..

      Also, with today’s annoyingly high reliability, it is still a challenge to be in the top 10, not easier than entering top 8 in those days.

      But I do think Lotus is analogous to SA in 2007.

      1. The SA07 was a modified RA106, which was a pretty decent car in 2006 – the Arrows one was the SA05.

  19. Lotus are no different to every other team on the grid. Every team talks themselves up. It would sound a little odd, or worrying if a team came out and told the world that their big Barcelona update was actually just going to keep them where they were, and they weren’t hoping for a relative improvement.

    And of course points are possible. Though in reality its unlikely but all it will take is a bit of unreliability from some of guys in front, crashes and prehaps rain and a safety car.

  20. Alonso_McLaren (@)
    27th April 2011, 1:27

    The role of Lotus in 2011 might be analogous to Super Aguri in 2007

    1. wake up dude….you’re still living in 2007

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