Formula One car development blog

Lotus tries extended wheelbase, no racing yet

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Lotus have been talking up their extended wheelbase E21 for a while now, but after strength testing was not completed in time ahead of the Belgian GP, its debut came at Monza. The team brought two sets of parts and opted to give Raikkonen only a chance to try it out in the Friday sessions.

The Finn though believed there was little or no performance gain in it, underlined by the fact that he and Grosjean - who still ran the shorter version - set identical best laptimes during FP2.

Wh... Read more

Lotus brings new mirrors for more downforce

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Lotus have brought new mirrors to the Hungarian GP, or rather new aerodynamic shells that house the mirrors. The mirrors themselves are regulated to have a minimum area, and all teams are strictly adhering to this very minimum to create the least possible aerodynamic disadvantage. It is for this disruption in airflow that outboard mirrors were introduced a few years ago, only to be banned later on safety reasons.

But, with their location now more or less fixed ahead and above the si... Read more

Lotus gets DRD race-ready at Silverstone

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Lotus are set to give 'the device' its race debut at Silverstone. The ducting system, more commonly known as DRD (Drag reduction device) is fitted on Kimi Raikkonen's car. At a time when other teams have seemingly given up all hope of racing it, despite Mercedes, Red Bull and Sauber testing similar designs during winter testing, Lotus is pushing ahead.

The system contains two separate inlet channels, one from the airbox itself, and one other. In Lotus case, this is indeed the airbox... Read more

Skinnier bodywork on Lotus E21

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Lotus have introduced a new bodywork package on their E21 which appears to be a lot skinnier ahead of the rear wing. While Raikkonen was still running the old package, a few times even with DRD, Grosjean's E21 had this new package which looks unsuited for DRD, even though the inlets are still present.

One of the most interesting bits is the outlet of the sidepod's hot air. Where most teams aim to dump that close to the floor or through a Red Bull style funnel ahead of the monkey sea... Read more

Lotus to update suspension to control ride height

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Lotus Technical Director James Allison has revealed that the team will introduce a new element in the front suspension that is mainly aimed at better controlling the ride height at the front of the car: "We will trial a suspension modification – internal rather than to the wishbones – which is an evolution of something we ran to good effect during pre-season."

Allison does not reveal what exactly will be tried, but his further comments claar up a few things: "You’re always trying to... Read more

Lotus fit new sidepods and exhausts

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Lotus have started the season in anger with an impressive amount of car developments. Already at Australia the team brought a new front wing, while this time in Malaysia there is another new front wing, along with this heavily modified sidepod bodywork, fitted only on Kimi Raikkonen's car. Raikkonen will continue the weekend with the new layout but Romain Grosjean will have to wait until the next race as the team were unable to get two pieces ready.

The new sidepods are a rather lar... Read more

First race and immediately a new front wing for Lotus

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As if it was still 2012, Lotus have kicked off the new season by introducing a brand new front wing on their E21. The team has been focusing on front wing development for years, and with seemingly great results, as performance has steadily improved in recent seasons.

The new front represents another fairly major step, with modified endplates and a more flat stacked panel. The most interesting feature of the front wing may however be the thickness of the lower flap, painted in black ... Read more

New rear wing for Lotus E21

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Lotus has had quite a busy schedule recently, and today the team came up with a new rear wing, tested both by Davide Valsecchi in the morning and Romain Grosjean in the afternoon. The new wing appears to be based on the rear wing that the team has already used when running without DRD, as the DRS actuator pod is the same and the wing's main profile also looks similar. The monkey seat however has been changed in a more traditional winglet, contrary to the curved version that existed ... Read more

Lotus continue to evaluate exhaust options

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Lotus is continuing to try out different versions of its exhaust channel, trying to maximize rear downforce. Davide Valsecchi was this morning testing again with an inconel exhaust channel, featuring a different curve and depth. Similar parts were spotted earlier on at the Jerez test.

The team earlier noted that the inconel metallic parts are not being used to resolve overheating issues with the carbon fibre exhaust channel. In fact, the inconel parts are easier and quicker to manuf... Read more

Lotus testing DRD and rear wing combination

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Lotus was seen running its DRD system yesterday at Barcelona, but interestingly that is not all that changes about the car. In fact, the team changes rear wings along with the fitting of the DRD, and reverts to the previous rear wing when continuing to run without DRD - or passive DRS, or DDRS.

Although the differences between the rear wings are quite marginal, it does show the complexity of the DRD in Formula One. When DRD is fitted, the raer wing endplates do not feature strakes o... Read more