Renault says late start to F1 season is Lotus’s problem

Ongoing issues with the troublesome Lotus E22 are a consequence of the team’s late start to the 2014 Formula 1 season, according to engine supplier Renault.

The Enstone squad skipped the first pre-season test at Jerez because the car was not ready in time, and after a promising start to testing in Bahrain it ended up completing the fewest laps of any team across the two tests at Sakhir.

The struggles continued during the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, where Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado missed most of free practice and were consigned to the back of the grid in qualifying, after encountering new issues with their Renault power units.

Both cars improved in the race, making it past half distance before suffering identical failures with their MGU-K (kinetic energy recovery) units.

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