Lotus has become the first team to unveil their 2013 car during an online ceremony broadcast from the team’s UK factory on Monday evening.
The new Renault-powered E21 is expected to help the team build on a successful 2012 season, which saw Kimi Raikkonen win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Raikkonen will again partner with Romain Grosjean in 2013.
With only limited changes to the technical and sporting regulations from 2012, the E21 continues the design concepts seen in its predecessor, the E20. However, Lotus officials say it is pushing last year’s concepts even further as well as incorporating some innovative technical solutions. The new car also features a slightly tweaked livery, incorporating an extra touch of red.
“The E20 proved itself to be an effective racing car – particularly towards the end of last season – so there is an element of expectation from the E21 and plenty to build upon,” said Lotus technical director, James Allison. “We have continued with our design themes and tried to create a more efficient and faster racing car based on all the lessons we learnt last year. How successful we have been in this task will only be discovered when we take to the track at the winter tests and – more significantly – at Grands Prix.”
With the E21, Lotus will continue to develop the passive double-DRS system that they tested but never raced in 2012. And, in the car’s launch form at least, the team have elected to retain a stepped nose – foregoing the ‘vanity panel’ permitted in the 2013 regulations – in order to save weight.
Joining Raikkonen and Grosjean in Lotus’s 2013 line-up is reigning GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi as third driver and Nicolas Prost as development driver. Jerome D’Ambrosio continues as reserve driver.