Formula 1

Lotus E22 set for Friday debut at Jerez

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They may be a week late, but Lotus will complete two days of testing at the Jerez circuit starting on Friday, according to Italy’s Autosprint.

The new E22 is the only 2014 car yet to be seen in the flesh after issues meant the Enstone team could not participate in the official test at Jerez last week.

However, it is one of the most anticipated cars of the year due to a ‘double-nose’ design that sees two tips rather than the usual one.

Though the two days running come under the promotional ‘filming days’ allowed by the FIA, it is important track time for engine supplier Renault who, it is understood, are paying for the test to take place.

The only disadvantage Lotus have is because of the tag ‘filming days’ Lotus too will be limited to just 100km of running using demonstration tyres from Pirelli.

Meanwhile away from the track, team owner and now team boss Gerard Lopez  has played down rumours former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh will be replacing the man who replaced him at the Woking team, Eric Boullier.

“There have been contacts with Martin,” Lopez is quoted by Italy’s blogf1.it, “but he is not necessarily the only one.

“We have talked to at least three other people.”

One potential stumbling block could be salary as Whitmarsh would command quite a high pay package, something Lotus can’t really afford with the team losing employees left, right and centre.

There is however some hope for the financially embattled team as it is revealed a new sponsorship deal with Russian group Votaphone is part of a bigger deal.

“This is not a mere sponsorship, we have acquired an equity stake,” the spokesman for parent company Yota Devices is quoted as saying.

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