As Lotus tries to unlock the key to regaining its Australian Grand Prix form, the squad has been forced to appoint a new technical director.
James Allison, an F1 veteran who has more than 20 years experience with various GP teams including Benetton, Ferrari and Larousse, is to leave the Enstone operation.
Lotus have confirmed Allison’s departure by announcing that Nick Chester will step up to the role.
As the F1 teams set up at the Catalunya circuit for the Spanish Grand Prix, it is not known where Allison is likely to re-emerge although he has been the subject of plenty of interest from rival teams this year.
The development comes as the team had been looking good to push Red Bull in 2013 particularly after Kimi Raikkonen’s resounding victory in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in March.
Lotus boss Eric Boullier confirmed the promotion of Chester from his role as engineering director.
Chester, too, has had a long involvement in grand prix racing after starting initially as an engineer with the Arrows team in the mid 1990’s before switching to Benetton several years after Michael Schumacher led that team to its most successful era.