Suspension changes cause consternation
A hot and sticky Hockenheim proved to be problematic in qualifying for Lotus F1 Team after a mid-season suspension change robbed the E22 of a 2014 scarce commodity; pace.
FRIC – Front-and-Rear Interconnected Suspension – has been an element of cars developed out of the squad’s Enstone base for numerous years, with the team leading the way in this area of car development.
With FRIC no longer flavour of the month for the governing body, the rapid departure of the system from the E22 has caused a headache or two trying to recoup the pace that left the building with Mr. FRIC.
Lotus F1 Team Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane explains.
"The suspension changes we've had to make for this weekend have complicated things for us,” he said.
The changes may have complicated, but the results were plain to see.
"It's clear we lack pace relative to our opposition.”
Despite the challenge, behind the wheel both drivers pushed hard, with Romain making it to P15 on the grid.
"We set ourselves the target of getting into Q2 and we achieved that, so that's a very good job from the guys," said Romain. “It’s been a challenge without FRIC. We've used this kind of suspension longer than other teams, and it’s been an integral part of the cars’ development since, influencing areas such as ride height and aero. Of course we had to change this, and it has cost us quite a bit."
For team-mate Pastor, P19 was the culmination of a tough session. "We're working hard to put everything together and we should gain a few tenths that will put us back into fighting position," he reckoned.
"I think we can recover this pace, but it's certainly affecting us at the moment."