Lotus Renault GP has decided to abandon its latest upgrade for the remainder of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend after suffering overheating problems in first practice.
Vitaly Petrov was scheduled to try out the revised tighter bodywork and sidepods during the opening day of action in Singapore, but a radiator problem experienced early on forced a change of plan. The team made a swift call to revert to the standard specification bodywork so as not to lose further running time, and it hopes to have the developments ready to work properly for the next race in Japan.
"We lost P1 because we decided to change the problem quickly as we would not have made P2," Petrov said. "We cannot risk running it tomorrow because there is no time.
"Losing P1 at this circuit it is quite a disaster, because here you find a lot of time by driving and learning, so I think we will not be super quick here on this circuit but we will be in Suzuka. You never know, though."
Team principal Eric Boullier remained optimistic that tweaks to the updates will ensure it is working more effectively at Suzuka, where the team is hoping for a good step forward in form.
"It was not the upgrade itself that did not work, it was more something wrong with the water flow for the radiators," he explained. "It was something more mechanical inside and obviously because you cannot test it, and we could not take the risk to miss P2, we decided to go back to the standard package. But, of course, we will work on it and try and get it back on the car for Suzuka."
With the update expected to bring a few tenths of a second per lap to the car, Boullier admitted that the setback had further dampened the team's already low expectations for this weekend.
"We know that we suffer a lot on the slow track layouts, so we know we will be suffering here, and James [Allison] warned everybody about that. It will be better in Japan and Korea, we know this."