All eyes will be on Lotus’ already-competitive black and gold E20 at high speed Spa and Monza.
Technical boss James Allison confirmed recently the Enstone based team intended to debut its so-called ‘double DRS’ system in Belgium. Sky television pundit Ted Kravitz said the device, so far only tested in Friday practice sessions, works at any point of a circuit over 150mph.
Historic Spa and Monza, the F1 double-header taking place over the next two weekends, are among the fastest circuits on the calendar.
“They (Lotus) say it’s about 4 or 5 kilometres per hour (benefit) — that’s a huge advantage,” said former Toyota driver and pundit Allan McNish.
Lotus calls it simply ‘the device’.
“We’ve been focusing on ensuring that we have the capability to run the new device in Spa should we be confident enough to do so,” Allison said this week.
Still yet to win a race in 2012 despite being third in the constructors’ standings, the device’s likely debut has ramped up Lotus’ confidence in the days before Spa. Last year in Belgium, Romain Grosjean wrapped up his GP2 title.
“I remember every moment,” he is quoted by RMC. “Going back there will be special to remember these emotions. What would be nice is to get my first victory in Formula One there. I will also try to qualify well — and why not a pole?” he grinned.
Patrick Tambay, who is Grosjean’s French countryman and a former grand prix winner, agreed that Spa and Monza will be two “very interesting races” for Lotus. They will also be interesting weekends from a ‘silly season’ point of view, as Grosjean has been a standout surprise of the season and Kimi Raikkonen is linked to Ferrari.
“I can understand why other teams would be interested (in them),” said team boss Eric Boullier, “but to be honest they (the other teams) are probably wasting their time.”