Lotus have become the first team to launch a 2013 Formula One car – the E21 was revealed a few minutes ago live on the Lotus F1 YouTube channel and right here on chrisonf1.com. At first glance, the most obvious feature of the new car is that it has retained the stepped nose that was characteristic of last year’s F1 cars. In general, the car looks very much like an evolution of the E20 that was raced in 2012.
Perhaps the most important technical feature of the new car is the Coanda-style exhaust that was pioneered by Red Bull in 2012. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn predicted at the end of 2012 that all of the cars would make use of this exhaust technology that allows the teams to direct the exhaust gases with high degrees of accuracy towards aerodynamic pieces of the rear of the car. Lotus have so far proven Brawn’s prediction to be correct. The livery of the E21 is dominated by the black and gold colour scheme used for the past two seasons, although the sidepods now bear prominent red signage for Genii Capital, who own the team. The air intake has above the driver’s head is now red as well.
Lotus technical director James Allison assured Sky Sports News, who covered the launch, that the car contained plenty of innovation under its familiar looking skin:”I can assure you we’ve done a lot… The whole team here has been working heart and soul on this thing for a long time… there’s a lot that’s gone in to it and it’s going to be an exciting car.”
Allison revealed that the stepped nose has been retained as there would be no obvious performance advantage to be gained from covering the step. He was unwilling to add weight to the front of the car for cosmetic purposes. It is likely that Lotus are not the only team to follow this line of thinking, but that will only become clear as the other teams launch over the next week.
Lotus are targeting third place in the Constructors’ Championship this season. Considering how strong the team’s performance was in 2012 – Kimi Raikkonen finished third in the drivers’ table and the team finished fourth overall – that aim seems quite conservative. Whether or not it is achievable will remain largely unknown until the season starts in Melbourne on 17 March, although pre-season testing – starting on 5 February – will provide some indication of the pecking order.
Click here to see photos of the new car.
Lotus are set to be the first team to launch a 2013 Formula One car. The new Lotus, named the E21, will be revealed in an online launch on 28 January 2013 at 19:15 GMT. The launch can be watched live on the Lotus F1 Team YouTube channel.
The E21 will be powered by a Renault 2.4 litre V8 engine, and raced by Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Based on the team’s 2012 form – Raikkonen finished third in the drivers’ championship and Lotus came fourth in the constructors’ championship – this should be a competitive car. How good the new car is will begin to become clear when testing gets underway in Jerez, Spain on 5 February, but the real pecking order will not be known until the first race in Melbourne on 17 March.
In terms of appearance, the E21 car is likely to do away with the stepped nose that characterised the 2012 cars, as new regulations permit the teams to cover the step. The black and gold livery, which has been on the cars for the last two seasons, is likely to be retained. Most of the aero development will be focused on the rear end of the car, where the exhaust exits will be designed to direct the hot exhaust gases towards aerodynamic pieces around the rear floor. Those changes will deliver performance, but will not be visible to the casual observer, particularly when the cars are at speed. The most noticeable change will be the smooth nose.
Lotus have already fired up the engine in the E21 in preparation for the launch and start of testing. The sound of the engine being fired up for the first time can be heard here.
The schedule of launches (as revealed so far) and testing can be found here.
Lotus have fired up their 2013 F1 car – the E21. It’s unlike anything you will ever hear on the road. The engine revs high, generates ridiculous power, and sounds magnificent. Hear it here:
Romain Grosjean is the 2012 Champion of Champions, after triumphing against a host of enormous names in motorsport. Grosjean defeated eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour winner Tom Kristensen 2-0 in the final of the individual competition.
There is no easy path to victory at the Race of Champions – with the best of the best from all motorsport disciplines competing, every race is tough and each victory along the way hard-earned. But Grosjean had, if anything, the most difficult possible path to the final. In the group stages, he was up against seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, current Indycar Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and RoC Asia runner-up Kazuya Ohshima. Despite losing narrowly to Schumacher, Grosjean beat Hunter-Reay and Ohshima to proceed to the knock-out stages.
After the group stages, Grosjean’s path to victory became even more difficult. He was matched up against current triple Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the third quarter final, and was arguably not expected to proceed to the semi-finals. But an uncharacteristic error from Vettel – which shows just how hard he had to push against Grosjean – meant the German crashed out, and set-up a Grosjean-Schumacher semi-final. Grosjean avenged his earlier defeat to Schumacher by knocking the legendary German out of the competition.
The final was a best of three affair between Grosjean and Tom Kristensen. Kristensen had beaten last year’s winner Sebastian Ogier and former Formula One driver David Coulthard en route to the final, proving his speed in the process. But he was no match for Grosjean, who needed only two heats to seal his victory and become 2012 Champion of Champions.
After a mixed season in Formula One – with three podiums, a number of crashes and a race ban for causing a pile-up at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix – Grosjean was relieved to end the year with a victory. The young Frenchman said, “That’s what I’d call a crazy day! It got a bit tough in the group stages but I managed to make it through. Then I had to face Sebastian Vettel in the quarter-final before Michael Schumacher in the semi-final – the two Germans who beat us in yesterday’s RoC Nations Cup final. Then I had the final with Tom. We’ve had a good history at this event and I’ve raced him before so it was good to face him in the final. I got a bit of extra luck to be in the right car at the right time but it felt good.
“It’s been a tough end to the F1 season but I finally got back on the podium yesterday, and now this! It’s great to get this win before I head off for a holiday. Thanks to everyone in Thailand because the welcome has been fantastic.”
Grosjean has not yet been confirmed at Lotus for the 2013 Formula One season, but will be hoping for a favourable announcement from his team soon.