Lotus must make the most of its final preseason test at Barcelona in Spain this week if it is to capitalize on the promising form of its car, reckons team boss Eric Boullier.
With the team being forced to pull out of last week's test at Barcelona because of a front suspension issue, and having plans to make up for that time with a run at Silverstone next week now thwarted, the pressure is on to ensure it has a perfect next few days of running.
"Obviously, we want to have the same reliability that we showed in Jerez and do the maximum mileage we can," Boullier said ahead of its revised E20 taking to the track at Barcelona on Thursday. "We will never catch back these four days we lost, but we need to make the best of these four days coming up to make sure that we do well."
Boullier says there is some encouragement from the fact that Lotus showed so well in the first test in Jerez, but he knows that what really matters is how its updated car compares to the opposition.
"In Jerez, the reliability was good and the pace was good, but it means nothing much because it was the first test," he said. "We have a lot of upgrades coming for the car like the others, for the test and for the first race, so let's see now.
"But definitely the basis was good, and the drivers were happy with the handling of the car. The car had a good balance, so it was a good start."
Boullier denied suggestions that the front suspension issue was the result of the team having tried to push too hard to take weight off its design, a theory backed up by the fact that the revised suspension components are 1kg heavier.
"No, no, no, it was nothing like this," he insisted. "There was a small deviation between design simulation and one component we had on the car, and obviously with the fitting of this mount on the front, we were not happy with the results. We decided for many reasons to focus on redesigning it and redoing it, and to get rid of this."
Boullier also said his team accepted the decision of the FIA not to allow his team to test for an extra day next week, because the governing body believed it would be a breach of rules that prevent running in the week preceding the first event.
"I think we had a different interpretation [of the rules]," explained Boullier. "The teams agreed that we could go for another day next week, but the FIA came back to us and said we cannot, so that is the end of the story."