Lotus “Roll Out” E22 Challenger In Bahrain

Romain Grosjean takes the new Lotus out for a test run Wednesday at the Bahrain International Circuit. It was the first test of this season for the team.   [Photo by Getty Images]

SAKIR, Bahrain- Following the decision to skip the first test of the formula one testing a couple of weeks ago, Lotus launched their 2014 challenger early Wednesday morning as Romain Grosjean rolled out the new E22 to begin the team’s first testing session in front of the world’s media.

The car itself has like all the other squads, a radical new front nose and nothing much additional that had to coincide with the new rules for this year, and considering the car is pretty much the same as color is concerned, the team itself has gone through a lot of changes which include a new driver, sponsors, and the desperate need of a new team principal.

Grosjean, who was heavily criticized for his erratic driving style in 2012, changed his situation last year, and achieved many podiums, which gave him the chance to return for another season with the Enstone squad. However, the second driver position was open at the end of last year, as Kimi Raikkonen was fed up with his late payments of the team and realized that Lotus was not going to be a part of his future and left for Ferrari to replace Felipe Massa. But the team was in dire financial trouble, and considering a deal with the Quantum organization might have brought a lot of cash and Nico Hulkenberg, it did not happen. This changed the situation dramatically, which followed with the need for a pay driver, which gave Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado the opportunity to bring his oil money and fill the second seat.

However, this only solved a little of the problem, and the team still needed a major partner to help fill the rest of the finances. Enter Danish bank Saxo, which had sponsored riders in the Tour De France, and now wanted to help out. The deal goes for one season, but Saxo will have the last say on how the team goes during this season in order to renew their contract.

Finally the last shot in the arm occurred last month, when Eric Boullier, the team principal, decided to step down. The move was a shock to others, but not to McLaren, who just picked him up for this year as a possible sporting director. A new position for Lotus still needs to be filled. So in the meantime, team manager Gerard Lopez will act as temporary team principal until a new one can be found.

For Lotus themselves, this season needs to turn around as financial woes, a lost manager, and other items need to improve to keep this team afloat in order to continue the hope that they can overcome their problems and move on with their goals.

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