As much as we’ve talked about Williams and their return to glory, it does seem logical that Lotus could also benefit from the best engine on the grid. Lotus have set their sights on Williams and that’s becoming a real target as Ferrari have too.
Lotus may very well be looking at Williams and they feel they have the car to move forward:
“WE ARE REASONABLY HAPPY,” SAID TECHNICAL DIRECTOR NICK CHESTER. “WE LOOK LIKE WE COULD BE REGULAR Q3 CONTENDERS BUT THERE IS MORE THAT WE WANT TO BE DOING SUCH AS CLOSING THE GAP TO WILLIAMS AND MOVING AWAY MORE FROM THE GROUP BEHIND US. THERE IS MORE TO DO!”
Nick may be right but it is difficult to tell from the fist grand prix in Australia with both cars out in the first lap or two. So how do you reckon you have the chops for Williams?
“THE RACE WAS DISAPPOINTING AS WITHOUT RETIREMENTS BOTH DRIVERS WOULD HAVE SCORED A GOOD CHUNK OF POINTS,” HE SAID. “IF WE DIDN’T EXPERIENCE THE UNFORTUNATE CRASH AND THE CHARGE AIR SYSTEM LEAK, WE COULD PROBABLY HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT FIFTH AND SIXTH POSITIONS. BOTH DRIVERS HAD QUALIFIED AHEAD OF FELIPE NASR WHO ENDED THE RACE FIFTH AND OUR LONG RUN PERFORMANCE ON FRIDAY LOOKED GOOD SO THERE IS NO REASON WHY OUR DRIVERS COULD NOT HAVE ACHIEVED THAT.”
Nick reckons they could have scored points and been in the hunt but keep in mind that Williams were without their second driver, Valtteri Bottas, so it is hard to know for sure where they would have placed in the points. The good news? Pastor thins they aren’t that bad:
“IT’S QUITE SURPRISING THAT THE GAPS ARE CLOSE, NOT AGAINST MERCEDES, BUT THE PEOPLE BEHIND MERCEDES,” MALDONADO SAID. “WE ARE NOT THAT BAD.
“WE NEED TO MAKE PROGRESS AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THIS IS NOT A PROGRESSION OF THE CAR WE HAD LAST YEAR, IT’S A NEW PROJECT.
“I THINK WE CAN GET BETTER AND BETTER THROUGH THE RACES BECAUSE WE SHOW GOOD PACE AND A CONSISTENT CAR.”
I believe they can do it and with any luck, they may be looking at Ferrari too. however, Williams was keen to point out that development throughout the season is the real secret to F1 and they have plenty of cash and skill to not only compete with Ferrari in that arena but win. Does Lotus? If rumors are true, that may be harder to deliver on.