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Lotus to miss out on first F1 winter test

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Kimi Raikkonen Lotus E21 F1 wintertest Jerez 2013
Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus E21 - F1 wintertest Jerez 2013
Kimi Raikkonen Lotus E21 F1 wintertest Jerez 2013

Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus E21 - F1 wintertest Jerez 2013

Lotus will not take its new 2014 car to the first official test of the pre-season, the Enstone based team has announced.

Last month, we reported that Lotus, having completed the 2013 season amid reports of financial trouble, had asked the F1 Commission to consider delaying the opening test at Jerez late in January for a week.

In a team press release on Monday, Lotus F1 technical director Nick Chester revealed: "We're going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams.

"We've decided that attending the Jerez test isn't ideal for our build and development programme.

"We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions," he added.

Chester this year replaced his predecessor James Allison, who moved to Ferrari.

France's Auto Hebdo also reported on Monday that Patrick Louis, who until now has been Lotus' chief executive, has resigned.

Chester, however, insisted Lotus is on track for a competitive 2014, with Pastor Maldonado joining the team to replace Kimi Raikkonen, who has returned to Ferrari after revealing he was paid "zero euros" last season.

He said the E22 passed some mandatory FIA crash tests before Christmas, with only the "nose test" still to complete.

"We've undertaken chassis fits for Romain (Grosjean) and Pastor," added Chester.

"Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges.

"From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive," he said, referring to the E22 car.

"We think we have a very good solution to the challenge and hopefully this will be seen when the E22 turns its wheels in anger."

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