No time for Lotus to develop 2015 car

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Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane admits it is already too late for the team to develop its 2015 car if a takeover is completed.

Renault is attempting to finalise a takeover of Lotus in order to return to F1 as a constructor, with the uncertainty over the team’s future having severely restricted development so far this season. Having targeted big scores in Belgium and Italy, Lotus dropped 13 points behind Force India after both cars retired on the first lap at Monza.

Speaking exclusively to F1i, when asked if Lotus could kickstart development on its current car if the Renault takeover is completed quickly, Permane replied: “No, I think pretty much everything is focused on the 2016 car now.

“There’s still a few little bits. With our front wing we brought a new concept front wing to Spa and Monza and we’re kind of developing that a little bit so there’s plenty of little things to try on that.

“That’s more designed for next year and we’ll use it this year if we can make it better. But it’s a very different design to our standard one, so that’s more of an ongoing project. There won’t be a huge amount but nobody will be doing much development at this time of year.”

Despite the lack of development for 2015, Permane says Lotus can still overhaul Force India in the fight for fifth in the constructors’ championship.

“I don’t see why we can’t do it. [Force India] had a decent result in Monza, maybe a little bit fortunate but there’s seven races left and plenty of time to get it back, for sure.”

Click here for F1i's technical analysis of the Spa and Monza upgrades

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