Following a tortuous 2014 driving an E22 which was notoriously unpredictable, both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were hopeful that 2015 would see Enstone return to the upper echelon of the field. While the successor to last season’s twin-tusked machine is a marked improvement, the E23 is yet to show any of the race winning credentials that were possessed by the Lotus’ that propelled Kimi Raikkonen to his 19th and 20th career wins. This fact, combined with a heap of misfortune and occasional driver errors means that Lotus have a right to feel a touch disappointed with their points tally at the halfway mark.
After the first two rounds of the season, Sebastian Vettel’s victory in Malaysia has been the leading headline, as an unexpected challenger to Mercedes superiority has emerged. However, one of the most curious aspects of the fledgling season has been the stuttering start for Lotus. The E23 has promised so much, with a shiny new Mercedes powertrain providing some relief following last year’s dire performance, yet the team are yet to convert this new ingredient into a top ten finish – disconcertingly, a la 2014.