Lotus E22 Renault
Lotus struggled through a difficult second half of 2013 with key staff leaving due to the team being unable to pay wages. First to leave was James Allison, and he was later joined by, among others, the team's head of IT and Eric Boullier, team principal until the end of 2013. All those who left certainly have had their influence on the new E22, but the final year of development was led by Nick Chester, the team's new technical director after the departure of Allison.
Among further rumours of financial issues, the team also decided to delay the car's launch until after the first test, opting to keep on working at its home base until going to Jerez for a private 2 days of filming on 6 and 7 February. The car publicly debuted at the Bahrain winter test, starting on 19 February.
Technically, the car at the launch featured a unique, asymmetric twin tusk nose cone, the team's attempt to get as much air as possible underneath the nose cone while complying with the changed regulations that mandate a low nose cone. The rear end of the car was more conventional, even though it was also the only car to have its exhaust pipe not on the centreline of the car, but rather moved slightly to the right to make room for the curved single central pillar.
Lotus ran its car during the two remaining tests at Bahrain before the season, but soon found it unreliable, mostly due to the troubled Renault engine. The car was often sidelined while the team and its engine supplier were fixing software bugs. Two engine fires during the final test also severely cut running short and left a lot of questions before going to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
Chassis: Composite monocoque structure, designed and built in-house, carrying the Renault V6 as fully stressed member
Front Track: 1450 mm
Gearbox: Eight-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear. “Quickshift” system in operation to maximise speed of gearshifts
Designation: Renault Energy F1-2014
Cars of 2014
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