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Allison: 'Lotus in high spirits for second test'
Monday 11th February 2013, 18:17 by TF1T Staff
© Lotus F1 Team, LAT photographic
Lotus head to the second pre-season test in Barcelona next week in high spirits, with technical director James Allison admitting he is so far happy with the E21's performance.
The oufit topped the second and final day of testing in Jerez last week and, whilst Kimi Raikkonen admitted the times meant nothing, Allison is confident they have a "competitive and reasonably reliable" car.
"Winter testing is exceedingly precious," said Allison. "We get just 12 days to prove out a very complex vehicle. Twelve days to push the car and the team to make sure that we are match fit by the time we get to Melbourne.
"We leave this first test in high spirits having learned that the E21 looks both competitive and reasonably reliable."
With eight days of testing ahead, the team's work switches to gaining performance ahead of the first race.
"They will push the car as hard as they can to make sure we have amplified its strengths and minimised its weaknesses before we have to use it in anger," he said of their targets for the limited running left.
Meanwhile, Allison is confident they will suffer none of the problems they did last year after they had to pull out of the second test due to a suspension design issue.
"We had a problem last year because we designed a single joint poorly. We had created a suspension mounting which was capable of withstanding the loads if it had been made absolutely perfectly. However, that style of joint was very difficult to make accurately enough to get repeatable performance from each chassis.
"It was not capable of taking the loads and so failed instantly. Once we realised our error we redesigned the joint so that the glue lines were capable of delivering the required strength without any scatter from chassis to chassis. On the E21 we’ve paid particular attention to this area so we’re not expecting any repeat dramas."