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GP Week : Issue 152
After their double-podium in Bahrain was followed by a strong showing at last week’s Mugello tests, Lotus have been tipped as 'the team to beat' at the Spanish Grand Prix. If you discount Romain Grosjean’s accidents in Melbourne and Sepang, one of Lotus’ strengths so far this year has been its consistency. That consistency has been duly noted by racers past and present. “If you look at all the races and the tests,” Mark Webber was quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport, “then the Lotus is the most consistent car in the field.” Three-time grand prix winner Johnny Herbert, who is currently attending races as part of the Sky F1 team, said: “That [tyre] window, I think, will be key and Lotus do seem to have a car, and the drivers and maybe the engineers as well, with an understanding of how to get that tyre in that window. I think they've shown speed all the way through the season so far, but it just clicked together properly in Bahrain. “So I think yes, [they can win]. From what we saw in Mugello, I think they can actually move for ward in a positive way. ... The predictability is so varied at the moment, I don't think anybody can make the call. But the guys that have been probably been the most consistent, strangely enough, have been Lotus in many ways.” The first four races of the season have seen four winners from four different teams, and the pressure is now on the Enstone racers to make it five. At Barcelona, Lotus will be running a comprehensive upgrade package that includes parts not seen when the team topped the timesheets at the second and third days of in-season testing. While work was under way in Mugello, Lotus was also busy completing full-scale wind tunnel testing on a raft of new parts at a facility in the United States. “Barcelona will see the first tranche of Windshear upgrades,” explained technical director James Allison, “accompanied by a selection of new parts stemming from our normal tunnel development programme. The package will include revised versions of the front and rear drums, the front wing and the floor. None of these parts were used in Mugello.” LOTUS TO WIN IN BARCELONA? 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS