Formula 1 - Lotus still encountering new problems

Lotus Formula 1 drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado believe the problems plaguing the team's Australian Grand Prix weekend are different to those faced in pre-season testing.

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Mechanics push the car of Lotus Formula One driver Romain Grosjean of France back into the garage during the third practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 15, 2014 (Reuters)

The duo will start the opening round of the new campaign in 20th and 22nd after a disastrous qualifying session added to the E22's miserable performance in Melbourne.

Australian GP qualifying report

Grosjean and new team-mate Maldonado faced a litany of engine, electrical and braking problems across the three practice sessions, and the team has already used one of its six 'jokers' to break the curfew on working hours.

Both drivers believe Lotus is solving the issues it encounters, only to face new problems on the next run.

"We fixed a lot of them but every day it seems there are new ones," Maldonado admitted. "All the problems we've had, they've been solved. We need to explore if the car will be OK.

"The team is trying to get to the bottom of the problems. It's more around the engine, it's not about performance [of the car]. We don't know where we are at the moment because we never push."

GROSJEAN: LATE START THE ROOT CAUSE

Grosjean echoed his team-mate's sentiments that the inability to have a consistent run meant Lotus had no idea where it was in the pecking order.

The Frenchman believes the variety of problems the team is facing is a consequence of its delayed start to testing and the disruption it then faced while attempting to catch up.

"Sometimes it's a little bit with the engine, sometimes the ERS, sometimes the brakes-by-wire," added Grosjean.

"These are problems we should have seen in winter testing if we could have but there were too many other problems that were hiding it and we didn't discover it.

"The positive aspect is we know where to look.

"If you have three corners that are consistent that's pretty good. [But] we know our windtunnel and our numbers, so we can keep positive.

"The team knows how to do a quick car, it's just we have all these things together going wrong and it's just a bit hard for everyone."

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