Team Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne believes the updates to be introduced in the Spanish Grand Prix will make its car a full second quicker...eventually.
The Tony Fernandes-owned squad will be running a major upgrade package from this weekend's race in Barcelona, and Gascoyne reckons it will allow the team to take a clear step forward into the midfield. The updates include a new aero package as well as a different exhaust system and diffuser.
Gascoyne expects Lotus to gain a second once it can get everything working properly.
"It might take us a couple of races to fully exploit it, as I think it is going to depend on the blown floor and engine strategies and some people have more experience than us with that," said Gascoyne. "But we expect our update to be significant. I think we'll see a big step and I think there is more to come over the coming races."
When asked how much he expected the updates to be worth, he said: "We're expecting it to be about a second, up to a second. It is a very significant update package. We think our update is going to allow us to take a clear step into the midfield, so that we are qualifying with them and out-racing them more and more. So, I think that we are reasonably happy, but Barcelona, it's got to see the next step forward."
Gascoyne also revealed the team is planning to introduce a blown diffuser, despite the FIA's plan to ban off-throttle systems.
"It's all built around the rear end. It's a Red Bull-style exhaust and diffuser package," he said. "We didn't implement a blown diffuser last year, so we had one for the start of this year, but we were only able to really evaluate that in the wind tunnel from Christmas onward, so we were playing catch-up in that area.
"I think with a lot of the teams, you can see it's been a hot topic at the start of this year, so it's pretty natural that that was going to be an area we looked at. We've seen from the development we've done that it's a very big step – far bigger than you normally would expect to be making, which is why everybody else has obviously done it. But the good thing is it means that we can catch up with those in front who already have it."