With less than a month left until Formula 1 testing begins at Jerez, Lotus have announced that their 2014 car will remain veiled and not make an appearance until the second round of testing at Bahrain.
Lotus’ technical director has said that the team is “going to keep (their) car under wraps a little longer than some other teams,” but insisted that the 2014 Lotus was nearly complete.
The decision to skip out on testing at Jerez is indeed a risky one. No other team, as of yet, has pulled out of the first testing session of the year.
With all new regulations being implemented and new types of engines being used, any testing, no matter how small, will provide vital information to teams this year. The information provided from testing at Jerez will be the first building blocks laid to help understand a practically all new car.
The technical information gained through testing will be priceless, but so to will the track time given to the drivers.
Taking this all into consideration, Lotus will naturally be behind by the time Bahrain comes around.
No doubt Lotus have not made this decision lightly and they would not have made it unless it was absolutely necessary. Yet it is inconceivable to believe that this action that they have taken was one planned long ago.
In short, Lotus are behind in their car development and they might be punished harshly for it when Melbourne rolls around.