The Lotus F1 Team is hoping for the best as it cracks open its fortune cookies in Shanghai. The E20 has shown ravenous pace in both qualifying and the race at the opening rounds, but due to a little bad luck the black and gold cars have yet to reach the podium.
Barring incidents, gearbox penalties, and lapses in concentration China should finally show what the team can deliver.
With a three-week break between Malaysia and here the team has been working round-the-clock at Enstone to shave tenths of a second off their car. Technical director James Allison believes the updates for China will bring around two tenths in performance – which could be very useful considering how tight the grid is.
"It may not sound like much, but given how close the grids have been so far this season, that is a big deal. Hopefully, it's a bit more than other people will bring," he said.
"We have to continue improving the lap time of the car and for that we're looking at improvement in all areas. A specific area we've identified for improvement is pit stop times and we are focusing a greater amount of engineering effort in this direction. The areas we are looking at include the wheel nuts and wheel guns. Looking at our opposition it is clear there are gains to be made in this area."
Romain Grosjean’s grid placings have been impressive thus far, but the young Frenchman needs to keep out of trouble in the race.
Kimi Raikkonen has wasted no time getting back on the pace after his three-year sabbatical, and after posting the fastest lap in Malaysia is confident that he can reach the podium providing he has a better starting position than the first two races. The Finn hasn’t been completely comfortable with the E20’s power-steering but it’s getting more to his liking, he says.