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Faster pit stops a priority for Lotus

Mar 27, 2013, 6:18 AM EDT

Kimi Raikkonen

Lotus have admitted they need to sharpen up their game in the pits having been over a second off the best last weekend.

Race team manager Paul Seaby admitted the crew “lost our mojo a little over the Malaysia weekend”.

“On Friday our practice stops were as good as they ever have been, but from Saturday onwards we were struggling to string good stops together,” he explained.

“The switch from wet to dry conditions and subsequent front wing flap adjustments didn’t help, but even taking that into consideration it still wasn’t our best weekend.

“We have to take that on the chin, put everyone through their paces with some more practice at Enstone, and work hard to get back to where we should be and deserve to be. Similar to a football team; when we are good praise is due, and when we aren’t we need to face up to that as a unit, work hard together and get ourselves back on song.”

Lotus’s best complete pit stop during the Malaysian Grand Prix was Romain Grosjean’s on lap 25 of the race. He was in and out in 21.8 seconds – over a second slower than the quickest stop of the race, performed by Red Bull.

Kimi Raikkonen‘s first visit to the pits on lap six was particularly slow, almost six seconds off the benchmark time.

However the race also demonstrated the dangers in trying to push for that last second in the pits. Force India introduced a new ‘captive wheel nut’ system designed to shave vital tenths off their stops, but a problem with securing the wheel meant they had to retire both cars.

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