Date: 7th January 2014 at 9:10am
Written by:

Whilst seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher remains in hospital, everything else seems very insignificant.

But the Formula One world doesn’t stop, even during the winter when there are no races beingheld.

Especially when there have been major changes in the laws and regulations, which require teams to build virtually brand new cars for the forthcoming 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship.

One of those teams is Lotus, the Enstone based team invited Michael Schumacher to return to Formula One at the end of last season after Kimi Raikkonen underwent back surgery.

The German won two of his titles whilst at Enstone, while the team ran under the former guise of Benetton. As we know Schumacher turned the team down and Heikki Kovalainen took up the temporary seat, ahead of the arrival of Pastor Maldonado for this upcoming season.

Maldonado joins Romain Grosjean at the team, but they will not get behind the wheel of their new Lotus E22 until next month, after Lotus announced that they would be missing the first test in Jerez, Spain [Due to be held January 28th-31st].

Instead they will use the time for further development and hit the track at the Bahrain International Circuit at the end of February.

‘We’re going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams, We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development programme. We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions.’ Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester said to the media.

Some teams have questioned just what the teams and drivers can learn during a winter test session in Europe, with track temperatures not representative of what’s to come during the new season.

That said, any loss of crucial mileage ahead of the introduction of the new 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engines with extensive energy recovery systems cannot be underestimated and a four day tract test session is the best way to learn about the new car.

It’s a difficult balancing act, so don’t bet against Lotus being the only team to skip the Spain test.