Herbert: Lotus can win in Spain
Johnny Herbert says he sees no reason why Lotus can't win this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
Confidence in the Lotus camp is high after Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean finished second and third respectively at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team then carried their good form over to the Mugello test last week with Grosjean topping the timesheets on two of the three days.
Former F1 driver Herbert believes Lotus' ability to come to grips with the Pirelli tyres quicker than their rivals, and the progress they made during the in-season test give them a good chance of winning at Barcelona.
"They have a chance," Herbert told Crash.net during a Sky Sports F1 phone-in. "I was speaking to Anthony Davidson last week, and he thinks the circuit isn't so bad for the tyres. But I personally think it will be.
"In the past it has been - and I know the surface has changed a little bit, but I think the way the window of these tyres seems to be working at the moment, I still presume there is going to be an issue.
"Some people may, as they said after Mugello, understand it a little bit more now. But I think there is an element, at circuit tracks, with circuit conditions, and we still don't know what the conditions will be, I presume they will be reasonably cool in Barcelona, but nobody is going to know what the tyres will work like, and again, that window [in terms of getting the tyres working] will be the very key to it.
"Lotus seems to have a car - and the drivers and maybe the engineers as well, have a little bit of understanding about how to get the car in that window. They have shown speed all the way through the season so far. It just clicked together properly in Bahrain. And so, I think yes [they can win in Spain] and from what we saw in Mugello during testing I think they can move forward in a positive way.
"There is no guarantee however, that the guys that you expect to be quick will be. Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing seem to be back on course, for example. But I don't think they probably are back on course yet because the predictability is so varied at the moment. I don't think anybody can make that call.
"The guys that probably have been most consistent this season, strangely enough, are probably Lotus."