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Lotus confident in qualifying pace

ESPN Staff
May 17, 2013 « Van der Garde eyeing 2014 | New parts for Sauber in Monaco »
Lotus has qualified on the first two rows on two occasions so far this year © Sutton Images
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Trackside operations director Alan Permane believes Lotus has made clear improvements with its qualifying pace this season.

One of Lotus' weaknesses throughout 2012 was an inability to qualify high enough up the grid to challenge for race victories on a consistent basis. This season, Kimi Raikkonen won the first race of the year in Australia and started on the front row in China, while he was second in Barcelona last weekend having started fourth.

Permane said the team had worked hard at getting more from the tyres over one lap and had seen clear progress in Spain.

"It's no secret that this is an area we've been looking to improve and we haven't done a bad job in this regard," Permane said. "We took a front row slot in China and - disregarding Mercedes - we were less than a tenth from the front runner in Spain.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say our qualifying pace is perfect as it's clear there are still gains to be made, but we've certainly made significant inroads into understanding how to get the most out of the tyres over a single lap, in addition to balancing setup for both qualifying and race pace."

Permane also revealed there would be new parts for Lotus in Monte Carlo.

"Similar to Barcelona, we will be bringing a new rear wing which follows the same concept as the one we ran in Monaco last year. There will also be a new front wing and some modifications to the floor, so plenty to keep us occupied. We're confident in the upgrade package for this race and the car has worked well at every circuit so far this season, so there's no reason it won't be strong here."