Ahead of the final pre-season test and 2013 season opener, Lotus has played down a new controversy about engine maps.
We reported on Monday that, after Red Bull were told to stop using certain ‘maps’ mid last season, the similarly Renault-powered Lotus was now also embroiled in a similar controversy.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said the FIA directive issued in August of last year still applied for 2013, despite Red Bull and Lotus assuming it related exclusively to last season’s championship.
But on Wednesday, Lotus’ operations chief Alan Permane said the suggestion the impressive recent pace of the E21 will now be affected by having to remove the offending ‘maps’ is ‘nonsense’.
‘Renault had come up with some alternative engine maps to try,’ he said, referring to last week’s Barcelona test.
‘They talked to the FIA about it but Charlie Whiting didn’t want us to use them.’
Permane is quoted by the BBC as insisting the engine maps in question have little to do with Lotus’ impressive winter form.
‘Kimi (Raikkonen) has used the new one once on an installation lap and hated it,’ he said.
‘Romain (Grosjean) used it in the wet last week on the final day and it finished up okay. But all his running in the dry has been without it,’ added Permane.
He said the performance advantages or disadvantages from the various Renault engine maps are ‘tiny’.
Permane also chided Ross Brawn for describing Renault-powered teams’ approach to exhaust layout as depending on ‘a clever engine management system’.
He said: ‘For Ross to talk about it like that is utter rubbish.’