Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 12:45
The E21 Unveiled
The Lotus E21, the 2013 racing beast was unveiled at Enstone last night, giving Lotus F1 fans the first glimpse of technical director, James Allison’s new challenger.
The car retains the 2012 nose cone design with the team choosing not to add the FIA sanctioned vanity panel, as Allison explained this would add unnecessary weight to the car, counteracting the performance enhancements of the new model. He then also went on to confirm that the team will use the ‘passive DRS’ device which has been pioneered last season.
"The rules for 2013 are very, very similar to those of 2012 so you can expect a lot of family resemblance from the 2012 car. But as ever in F1, the devil is in the detail, and the detail of this car adds up to a significant amount of performance," he said.
Aesthetically the E21 looks fastidiously turned out, and meaner than its predecessor. It has stylish flashes of red in the colour scheme, around the airbox and centre of the sidepods, juxtaposed against the famous black and gold livery.
More than a fashion statement however, the car is the tool intended to loosen the big team stranglehold which has dominated the top of the Championship table, - Lotus have a clear target for 2013.
"Our expectation is to do better than we did last year, which is quite a lofty expectation, but that is what we are shooting for," declared owner Gerard Lopez.
Eric Boullier went onto confirm: "… we will fight everything we can to be in the top three."
No easy feat, but with the task in the hands of former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen and stablemate Romain Grosjean, both of whom have had a great 2012 season, the team is quietly confident they can make big waves. It was also announced last night that Davide Valsecchi, the 2012 GP2 Champion will join as the third driver, whilst Jerome D’Ambrosio will remain as the team’s reserve.
We look forward to seeing the E21 put through its paces in Jerez, February 5th-8th where testing will begin in earnest, prior to the new season.