They are working with Renault on the new car since 2 years. And they are negotiating a contract that is similar to the Renault-RBR contract.
Renault has virtualy 2 customers for 2014; Lotus and RBR, as STR and Caterham will buy their ERS and Gear-boxes from RBR. And it wont be difficult to make Lotus a 2nd works team.
Some important points about Lotus:
If you look at Lotus's 2012 and 2013 seasons , you could notice that there is a big contrast between what Lotus did at the factory and what Lotus did on the track regarding developpment.
At Enstone, they spent a lot of money to renovate and upgrade the factory and prepare 2014. They :
- installed a test bench for the gearboxes, no need to make the Viry/Enstone travel 50 times per month anymore
- updated and upgrded the supercomputer
- replaced most of their 3-axis machines with modern 5-axis machines
- installed a modern simulator
- renovated the composites department
- started the 2014 program very early (perhaps earlier than Mercedes for example)
However, if we look closely at their development campaign in 2013, you'll find out that they have tried to be as economic as possible;
They kept the same chassis/monocoque design between 2012 and 2013 and this is the first time they do that. Even between 2006 and 2007 were the regulations stood still, they produced a completely different monocoque) and only Williams and the two smallest teams did the same.
- They have clearly established a strict and limited development program. They didnt copy any other car while all the other big/medium teams are copiying each other. There is plenty of fancy technical solutions that you can find on all the other cars but not on the E21.
- They did other savings regarding Raikkonen's salary and Grosejan's car
Their biggest 2013 developments; the DRD and the long wheelbase are long term investments. The DRD will still be legal in 2014 and thanks to the long wheelbase, they killed three birds with one stone:
- they tested the simulator
- They prepared in 2014 as cars will probably have a longer wheelbase
- they have improved the E21
Maybe Genii did all of this only to increase Enstone's value and sell it well ? I dont know...
Edited by Alburaq, 07 December 2013 - 14:35.