Lotus works to replace problematic Xtrac hydraulics

Wed, 24 March 2010, 08:01

Mar.24 (GMM) The source of many reliability problems encountered by F1’s new teams so far in 2010 has been traced to their common supplier XTrac.

Not since 1996 has the UK-based company, who like Cosworth has re-entered formula one in 2010 with the backing of the governing FIA, supplied complete transmissions to F1 teams.

HRT and Lotus are running the complete XTrac transmission in 2010, while Virgin specified its own gearbox casing. The hydraulic systems of all three new teams are provided by Newbury based XTrac.

Heikki Kovalainen told Finland’s Turun Sanomat that Lotus is working on implementing its own hydraulic system “some time in July”.

“I think it’s absolutely the right way to go if we are to have full control over our car’s hydraulics,” said the Lotus driver.

Kovalainen, 28, added that the standard system is “too unreliable” and “not quite up to date”.

HRT boss Colin Kolles said this week that the Spanish team has been working “long hours” with XTrac since Bahrain, amid reports some upgrades to the hydraulic system will be implemented in Melbourne.

Virgin reiterated on Wednesday that it was “hydraulic and transmission problems” that “blighted” its debut weekend in Bahrain two weeks ago.

Said technical boss Nick Wirth: “We have some new parts which we hope will provide a robust solution to the new hydraulic problem and transmission issue we experienced in Bahrain.”

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