Major changes at Lotus ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

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Lotus’ preparation for the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix were dealt a major blow this week in the wake of James Allison’s departure to unnamed pastures new. The British team’s much coveted technical director has been the driving force behind the resurgence of the manufacturer since their return to the top table of motor racing.

As a result of Allison’s departure, both Lotus drivers can be found at reasonably long odds for both pole position and the race win, with the ever reliable Kimi Raikkonen a 10/1 shot to take the top grid slot, and 9/2 for the race win. Meanwhile, Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean can be found at 33/1 to head the field at the turn of the green light, and 20/1 to take the chequered flag ahead of the pack.

With Finnish ace Raikkonen having finished in the points in every race outing so far, each way money on adding a third Spanish Grand Prix winner’s trophy to his collection, and a fourth trip to the podium in five races looks like a shrewd punt.

Ominously though for Lotus, and the other teams at the head of the grid this season, Ferrari’s chief designer Nikolas Tombazis has rated their performances so far this season at just “six out of 10”.

A return to continental Europe should enable development updates to come thick and fast, and with Fernando Alonso the 11/4 second favourite to win on home soil, Ferrari’s hopes rest firmly on the Spaniard’s shoulders.

Fancy a larger return for your stake? Then last year’s pole sitter following Lewis Hamilton’s grid penalty, and surprise race winner – Pastor Maldonado – could be worth a pound or two.

At 500/1 to repeat his pole position start, and a 300/1 shot to become the first back-to-back winner in Spain since Michael Schumacher won four successive races between 2001 and 2004, the Venezuelan could be the surprise package this weekend.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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