German Auto Motor und Sport shot the first arrows against Lotus after Kimi Raikkonen's victory at the Australian Grand Prix, where Mercedes cars did not do well. Already in the first race of this year, as well as after the first two free practice sessions before the Malaysian Grand Prix, tires are obviously crucial this year. This year, Pirelli prepared even softer tires, from which pieces flew while driving through the bends of the Sepang track. But in both Australia and Malaysia, Lotus with Kimi Raikkonen topped the timelines.
At Auto Motor und Sport, they think they have already found the answer to why. Pirelli developed its tires with a three-year-old Renault race car that was designed and built in Enston, where Lotus race cars are now made. "The competition suspects an unfair advantage," the Germans wrote. “Admittedly, Renault’s 2010 racing car, used by Pirelli to develop its tires, is very old in terms of the speed of development of Formula One cars. But certain philosophies and principles of chassis and aerodynamics remain unchanged for many years, ”says journalist Michael Schmidt.
“We overlooked this fact and clearly underestimated its effect,” an unnamed member of Lotus ’rival team said, according to Schmidt. "We're going to have to think about how to do this better in the future."
Given that Pirelli bought a 2010 Renault race car designed to use Bridgestone tires, so Lotus members do not have access to telemetry data from Pirelli's tire tests that could be used to build this year's car, the question remains , what advantage Lotus should gain.
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