Lotus F1 announced earlier this week that they would not be participating in the upcoming test session in Jerez on January 28th. Team boss Eric Boullier has added to the announcement telling the BBC’s Andrew Benson:
“It is true the car will not be ready on time, but we will be ready shortly after that – and in some ways, it is not bad because we will have time to watch what the others are doing and nobody will be able to watch what we are doing.”
Fair enough but that isn’t exactly how Lotus F1 originally put it. They merely said that the test didn’t favor their build or development but it is now understood that the car, quite simply, won’t be ready to run.
There is no foul in that as many of the teams have very tight schedules to create a working car for the first grand prix but I do find it odd given that most of the press in 2013 was centered on the notion that the teams have all been working on the 2014 spec car for two years. No doubt they didn’t want to appear as being behind the 8ball on the new car but with the massive regulation changes set for 2014, it’s hard to imagine any team having their new challenger fully sussed and ready to go by January 28th. In fact, Boullier says they won’t.
“You will see, we will not be the only team not being in Jerez (the first test in southern Spain),” he said. “I know this for a fact already.”
Can we expect Sauber, Marussia, Caterham and possibly Williams F1 to follow suit? Could the test boil down to Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso?