…while Lotus announce the E20

Lotus F1 Team E20. © Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic

The renamed Lotus F1 Team uncovered their 2012 challenger, the E20, in Enstone earlier today.

Following a 2011 campaign that fell away in the second half of last season, Lotus will be keen to avoid such a situation again.

With a line-up consisting of former-world champion Kimi Raikkonen and reigning GP2 title holder Romain Grosjean on board, the squad formerly known as Renault are certainly starting with a far more aggressive approach.

Former Virgin Racing pilot, Jerome d’Ambrosio, assumes the role of third driver with aims to revitalise a Formula 1 career that – rather unfairly – took battering after a season in a poor machine.

The E20 represents a sweeping change of direction for the Lotus team. Gone are the odd sounding, and rather explosive forward facing exhausts, following their ejection from the regulation book.
Reconfigured suspension layouts also bear noticing. Although the E20 contains the now familiar step-nose that has many fans bitterly complaining, the “step” is noticeably smoother in its transition.

Due to the lack of regulation change garnering the front wing section, little has been changed in this area, with Lotus deciding upon evolution, rather than revolution.
The team – then Renault – finished 5th in the Constructor’s Championship last year. They will need a much better season if they fancy a go at the top four.

The E20 commemorates the twentieth chassis built at the team’s Enstone headquarters, even if the name above the sign has changed several times in that period. In what may or may not be a sly dig at the Tony Fernandes Team Lotus from the previous two seasons, Enstone Lotus will be celebrating their 500th Grand Prix at the season’s fifth event.

For the nuts and bolts of things, look to Joe Saward, Kate Walker, ManipeF1 and, of course, Autosport. For the more techy minded, there are always Racecar Engineering and Craig Scarborough.

Lotus F1 Team E20. © Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic
Lotus F1 Team E20. © Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
Lotus F1 Team E20. © Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
D'Ambrosio, Grosjean, Eric Boullier (Team Principal), Raikkonen. © Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
© Lotus F1 Team

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