(Bernard Asset for Renault Sport F1)
The Lotus F1 Team endured another difficult day at the office on Friday as track action got underway at the Sepang International circuit in Kuala Lumpur ahead of Sunday's second round of the 2014 Formula One season.
Both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado suffered problems with the E22 which curtailed their running for today. This morning the team suffered an issue with their Renault power unit with both cars while in the after although Grosjean managed to get out on track however he only managed a handful of laps after burning a wire which resulted in a gearbox failure.
Maldonado had a miserable afternoon as he was unable to complete a single lap in the car. Following the today's running Grosjean said:
'We have to work and then try and solve our issues, every time we do some more mileage we had more issues. This morning, it was a 100% Renault issue, so we couldn't do any laps. This afternoon we burnt a cable and that broke the gearbox, which was a stupid thing. We burnt it, came back in, went back out but the bearings were broken from the first time.'
Despite the poor start to the season for the Enstone based team, Grosjean is refusing to let the problems get to him and is looking to last year for inspiration as he recorded six podiums during the season and was challenging for wins by the end of the season.
For their part Renault Sport F1 have denied that their customer relationship with the Lotus F1 Team is partly to blame for the issues that the outfit are currently encountering.
When asked by the media is Lotus are suffering due to their different relationship with Renault compared to Red Bull, Renault Sport F1's head of Trackside operations Remi Taffin said:
'No, they will get the last ten percent, whether they are 91 or Red Bull 98. They will get there and the last 5 or 10 percent is up to the individual team. If we only talk about the power unit they will get to the same level. There is some stuff - the installation, the cooling, the exhausts, energy that is different due to the way the power unit is installed and operated in the car'.
It will just take the Lotus team time to get up to speed with the new engine regulations and both the teams technical director Nick Chester and their new deputy team principal Frederico Gastaldi expecting the tea, to be up to speed by the time the Formula One circus pitches up in Barcelona for the first European race of the season in May.
©Ben Johnston 2014