Lotus F1 has revealed its challenger for the 2015 Formula One season which gets under way in Australia on March 13th. The reveal of the Lotus E23 will be a big step forwards says Lotus F1. And it needs to be better than the 2014 car because that was very much a reversal on everything Lotus achieved in 2013.
The technical director of Lotus F1, Nick Chester, explains “The E23 Hybrid represents a massive step forward for us. It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue. We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling. We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor. In terms of what’s new, obviously a massive change for us is a new Power Unit supplier.”
Lotus endured a miserable 2014 campaign finishing a lowly 8th and ending the year with £64m of losses, Chester added “We made this change as it looked and looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain. It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too. The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we’ve paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable.”
Lotus have made the transition from Renault power to Mercedes which is regarded as the most powerful engine on the grid right now, but it isn’t just power Lotus have concentrated on as Chester went on to explain “In terms of the suspension, we were delivered something of a blow last year when the front-rear interconnected suspension was outlawed mid-season. The E23’s suspension design is specific to the updated regulations so we’re not trying to update a system originally intended to work a different way. We learnt a lot in many areas of the car over the course of 2014 so there are many lessons which have been applied. We know we’ve made a big step. We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.”