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Lotus Technical director dismisses nose speculation

NEWS STORY
28/01/2014

Although his team is 'sitting out' this week's opening pre-season test, Nick Chester's 2014 contender for Lotus has been the subject of much speculation.

Last night, as the sniggering at the droopy bit on the front of the Toro Rosso STR9 continued, the Faenza outfit's Technical Director, James Key, suggested that despite the nose on his car being an object of ridicule, attention should be paid to the (twin proboscis) version Lotus intends running.

"The Lotus nose needs a bit of clarification," he told reporters. "It's a very clever idea. The question really is 'is it within the spirit?' We shall see.

"We looked at it early on when the car was quite a bit less mature than now," he continued. "In theory it was working well but in reality we felt it had too many drawbacks so we didn't pursue it. But we kind of understand where they've gone with it. It could be worth a re-visit when things have calmed down. I don't think it's illegal, it just whether it's in the spirit of the regulations."

However, over at Enstone, Chester denies there is an issue. "We have passed all the necessary crash tests and we are very confident that our design complies with all the FIA legal requirements," he said, "we have just taken an innovative direction, and one that's different to the other teams. Where there are so many variations in design, there is always bound to be a little talk, but we remain relaxed and focussed on our design and progression."

Asked about rival teams, now that almost all the 2014 cars are on track, he said: "As we can see there are plenty of different solutions out there as we expected there would be with such a radical change of regulations.

"There appear to be some elegant solutions and others that certainly don't look as nice!" he added. "We're very happy with the direction we have taken and it will be very interesting to see how the cars perform once we get a proper chance to compare them on track.

"It's always interesting to see what solutions the other teams have. Obviously you can't see under the skin of the cars easily where the majority of the design work takes place, but it's always interesting to see the various aero packaging on the other cars. We'll look at the different bodywork options they're running and there's always a few things to pick up on what they are pursuing."

Asked how the E22 is shaping up, Chester said: "The car's coming together pretty well now. The build is well advanced and we think we'll be in good shape for Bahrain come the next test."

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