Tag Archives: Lotus

FORMULA 1

Lotus F1 Team is proud to present its 2015 challenger; the E23 Hybrid.

Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO:
“The E23 Hybrid represents a new era for Lotus F1 Team, not only in the change to a Mercedes Benz Power Unit, but also it is the fruition of a busy winter behind the scenes. Improvements within our Design, Aero and Simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward. As a team we are confident that the new car coupled with additions to the Race team will enable a huge leap forward and we are full of optimism going into the new season. It is time to put the disappointment of last season behind us and benefit from 12 months of hard work; we are ready to return to our rightful place at the pinnacle of the sport.”

Lotus E23 Side
Nick Chester, Lotus F1 Team Technical Director:
“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. 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. 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.”

Lotus E23 Right Side

GP2

 

GP2 Hungary Preview from Esteban Gutierrez:

Budapest, Hungary – Round 9 of the 2012 GP2 Series championship sees Esteban Gutierrez and his Lotus GP team head the Hungary GP. The Mexican is currently third in the drivers’ championship.

The drivers enjoy the Hungaroring because it’s like an overgrown go-kart track. Each corner leads into the next, and there is very little chance to pause and catch one’s breath. Basically, it’s Monaco but without the buildings.

The constantly changing gradient makes the track interesting to race on, and precision is of key importance because the car is turning for a large part of the lap. It can be hard on tyres, and the cars require mechanical grip and a torquey engine. Most of all, the emphasis is on downforce and teams will run maximum wing.

The track runs along one side of a valley, drops down into the sweeping Turns 1 and 2, and then rises up again. It’s at this first corner that the only real chance of a passing move lies. The final section of spoon curves allows cars to bunch up tightly behind each other, all looking to catapult themselves past on the straight.

Esteban has been successful here in the past, finishing second in both GP3 and GP2 last year.

Lotus GP is the team to beat. They have 245 points compared to DAMS 229. Third-placed Esteban is sitting on 129 championship points, while leader Luiz Razia and second-place Davide Valsecchi are on 171 and 161 points respectively. 

Motorsports Mondial

Barcelona day three of testing halted by rain

Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus F1 Team Race Driver:

“It was good to get in the E20 after missing testing last week. We had an issue with the power steering in the morning then we didn’t run in the wet, so it was quite a short time for me in the car today. At least we got some runs. The car was reliable when on track meaning we gained some good data for the team. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and we can complete more laps.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

“Aside from the time we lost early on it was clear that we were running a different programme from the other teams today. We were hampered by power steering issues in the morning, which took some time to rectify. Once on track, we steadily improved the car balance through the day. We opted not to run in the rain which meant we completed fewer laps today than would otherwise have been the case.”

 

Motorsports Mondial

Another great day for Esteban at Jerez on day 2 of testing.

Different tire compounds and aerodynamic settings were the tests Esteban Gutierrez carried out during the second day of official GP2 training sessions. 

In the morning, Gutierrez and French team Lotus GP had a training session where the Mexican made 30 laps with a best lap time of 1:25.193, to place himself second fastest. 

“We were trying the different tire compounds that we have; there is one hard and one soft compound and that difference makes the car to react to different behaviors, so this morning we tested both compounds one after the other to see how the car reacted under the same conditions of track and settings.

In the afternoon session there were two race simulations which turned out to be very productive for Esteban and the team, as they were able to analyze how car #10 behaves and to draw conclusions from data to be better prepared for season 2012.

“In the afternoon we decided to run the race simulations with both tire compounds again to be able to assess the balance of the car, as there is a lot of work put into setting the car for qualifying while the race settings are completely different.

“Everything was quite normal and we still have some work to do because we had tire degradation, especially on the rear tires, and we have to work to improve that”, he added.

The driver – who is also a reserve Formula One driver – has one more day at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, in Spain, where he will continue working on the aerodynamic settings, which are not restricted for qualifying, but they are for the races.

“Last year aerodynamic settings were restricted but that limit has been removed for qualifying and practice this year, although it remains effective for the race.

“By using more downforce you have more grip which affects the balance of the chassis and you have to work to have one car setup for qualifying and another one for the race”, he remarked.

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: lotusf1

KIMI TOPS THE TIME SHEETS ON THE FIRST DAY OF TESTING

Kimi Räikkönen: “It was a positive first day of testing and everything went almost to plan. We had no major issues and I got a good feel for the car and the tyres. The tyres were more of a challenge in the afternoon when we ran with a scrubbed set, but overall it was a positive day. The lap times don’t matter today. I’m happy with the balance of the car, which feels good, and the fact that we didn’t have any major issues. Also, I did more than a race distance today and did not have any physical problems at all, which is good. I’m looking forward to making further progress with the car tomorrow.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “It was a flawless morning with a slightly interrupted afternoon as we changed the second of the KERS batteries which we ran today. Overall it was a very promising day in terms of reliability and it gives us a good springboard for the rest of the test. So far Kimi’s feedback on the car has been complimentary in terms of the balance, the braking and other features. The steering is slightly heavy for his liking at the moment, but we already have a different steering rack being completed which he will use in Barcelona

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We enjoyed a strong first day with the E20 in both performance and reliability and this is a testament to all the hard work done by everyone at Enstone over the winter. It’s always nice to be top of the timesheets, but the main encouraging factor from today is the car’s reliability; apart from a small KERS problem this afternoon it was fautless. We ran on the medium compound Pirelli tyre all day and it seemed to hold up pretty well, showing similar degradation to that we saw last year, so I think there’ll be exciting racing once more in 2012.”

 

F1Weekly podcast # 537

 

 

Formula One – Young Driver Test

Wickens, Vergne, Rossi, Korjus, Berthon and Charouz shine in F1 testing

Six of the drivers who contested the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series had the opportunity to make their mark at the Formula One Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi this week. And upon taking the wheel of the world championship-winning Red Bull Renault RB7, it was this year’s FR 3.5 Series runner-up Jean-Eric Vergne who dominated each session. Also impressing was the man who pipped him to the 2011 title, Robert Wickens, who was invited to the event by Renault Sport Technologies and Lotus Renault GP as reward for his championship success, while Kevin Korjus, Alexander Rossi, Jan Charouz and Nathanaël Berthon were also turning heads.

Over the course of the three-day event, which concluded today, the six drivers once again showed why the FR 3.5 Series is one of the most important stepping stones into the motorsport elite.

Wickens and Vergne were the first in action on Tuesday, having taken part in last Friday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix free practice session with Marussia Virgin and Toro Rosso respectively. This time around the Carlin team-mates took to the track on board Renault-powered F1 cars, with Wickens at the wheel of the Lotus Renault R31 and Vergne putting the Red Bull RB7 through its paces.

The 2011 FR 3.5 Series champion chalked up 78 laps in what his first full day’s testing in Formula One, setting the third-fastest time in the process. “I’ve learned so many things in just one day,” said the Canadian. “I’m extremely grateful to Renault Sport Technologies and Lotus Renault GP for giving me this opportunity. My aim today was to get some experience under my belt, though we also had a specific programme of work to get through. I’ve had the chance to compare the 2011 and 2012 tyres and there’s a big difference. I put together about 20 laps at the end of the day and set some pretty consistent times. Physically I feel pretty good, and I’ve been working hard for many years to get this far. I want to push myself even harder and do whatever I need to do to get an F1 drive as quickly as I can.”

Vergne picked up the pace in the Red Bull Renault on day two of the test, when he was joined on the track by Korjus, who was getting his first taste of F1 action with Lotus Renault GP, and Charouz and Berthon, both of whom were in an HRT. Speaking after his 70-lap stint, Korjus, the 18-year-old Estonian who won the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault title and three FR 3.5 Series races this year, was understandably thrilled: “This is my first time in Formula One and I’ve come here to learn. I grew in confidence throughout the day and by lunchtime I was feeling really at ease in the car. It’s a real physical test and it’s shown me that I’ve got an awful lot to do to become a top F1 driver and that I’ve got to work very hard on my physique.”

The quartet of Vergne (Red Bull Renault), Rossi (Team Lotus), Charouz (Lotus Renault GP) and Wickens (Marussia Virgin Racing) were all in action on Thursday, the third and final day of the test, with Vergne setting the seal on a brilliant display with a fastest lap of 1:38.917, just four-tenths of a second off Sebastian Vettel’s quickest time in last Saturday’s qualifying session. The Frenchman, who will be lining up in a Toro Rosso STR6 for next Friday’s free practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix, could barely conceal his delight after topping the timesheets on all three days. “I’ve had three fantastic days,” said the 2011 FR 3.5 Series runner-up. “Driving the world championship car has been an incredible experience. I savoured each and every lap and I’ve learned an awful lot working with Red Bull Racing.”

After a profitable few days in Abu Dhabi, Vergne, Wickens, Korjus, Rossi, Charouz and Berthon will all be hoping they can now kick on and emulate the likes of Vettel, Robert Kubica, Jaime Alguersuari and Daniel Ricciardo, all whom have successfully made the transition from FR 3.5 Series to Formula One.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/11-17-11f1weekly537.mp3]