Substantial update for Lotus T127 in Spain

Lotus are bringing several major new parts for their T127 at next week’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Technical director Mike Gascoyne explained what will change on the car in Barcelona:

All the teams will have upgrades for Barcelona, but we?re hoping that ours is even more significant than our rivals because we received our entry so late and had to freeze the initial specification of the car very early in the design process. We do expect it to be reasonably significant ?ǣ we have an aero package with revised sidepods, front wings and brake ducts, and a number of mechanical changes, but obviously we?ll have to wait and see what step forward our rivals will also make.
Mike Gascoyne

Gascoyne says the team has bedded in at its Norfolk base and is beginning to think about longer-term developments:

It?s very gratifying to see the whole factory in full operation, with every department now nearly fully staffed but starting to work to their full potential. This means we can now look at more long-term development and R&D programmes, and start thinking about future cars. We?re through the hardest part of the team?s growth and we?re on a very good footing for the future.

Mike Gascoyne

Jarno Trulli has only finished twice this year – and at Sepang he was five laps down after significant car trouble. He’s hoping his luck will turn around once the updated car arrives:

I think I?ve had a fair bit of bad luck so far, but I?m looking to put that behind me and see how much further forward we can go with the updates. I?ve kept in close touch with the team about the tests they?ve put the car through, and am encouraged by the results they?ve had. I think we?ll take a good step forward in Spain.
Jarno Trulli

Lotus are the only new team to have beaten one of the established teams in a race this year, Heikki Kovalainen leading Nico H???lkenberg home in China.

But on pure pace they are up to 3% slower than the tail end of the midfield. We’ll see how much of that gap they can reduce next weekend.

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18 comments on Substantial update for Lotus T127 in Spain

  1. LewisC said on 30th April 2010, 17:41

    On a Facebook comment Lotus just posted:

    …no changes to the nose itself, the rules state that we can’t change that as it’s crash tested and homologated, but we have a new front wing, revised sidepods, new brake ducts and a few mechanical changes. We’ve also got a revised floor, all of which combine to give us, we hope, over a second. We’ve also been testing the chassis extensively this week and have found some good areas to work on, so we go into the European season feeling pretty good.

    If they find a second a lap then Richard Branson can start getting fitted for his Air Asia hostess’s uniform right now :)

    • matt90 said on 30th April 2010, 17:47

      I thought the nose could be changed. Red Bull did it last year. Is this a new rule, or by the nose do they mean the very front of the chassis?

      • LewisC said on 30th April 2010, 17:53

        Good point – they had a wide and a narrow nose. I assume they had to get it re-homologated.

        • Patrickl said on 30th April 2010, 19:05

          Maybe you can simply bolt something onto the nose to make it wider, but not change the overall shape?

        • James_mc said on 1st May 2010, 12:33

          I presume it is This (what LewisC said).

          Either that or with the new rules for homologating the tub extends to stuff like the nose.

        • Patrickl said on 2nd May 2010, 10:09

          You can only get something re-homologated for safety issues.

          Performance updates will not be allowed.

    • macahan said on 30th April 2010, 20:06

      that would be a tremendous feat if they found a second, if they do then they finally might start racing against the bottom teams in the midfield and not just get lucky and steal one position like in China. Could even allow them to on their own merit (and not due to strategy screwups by the top and midfield teams) manage to get into Q2 on their own power based on pace. They seem to be about 3 seconds to the top teams but only a second, second and a half to the bottom of the mid field. Will be interesting to see..

      • It’s much easier for Lotus to find a second than it is for RBR/Ferrari etc…
        They have more areas to improve in, or to put it another way if they were racing on a track they previously did in 1m40s a 1% improvment in performance would get them to 1m39s.

        When major teams can find tenths I don’t see why Lotus can’t find a full second. If I remember correctly I think Gasgoyne said something about engineering the car with 25% more cooling than was needed to improve reliability. Presumably the entire car was devised on that premise and they should have many areas to improve by significant percentages.

        While their resources may be lower, they have alot more ideas they can ‘borrow’ to improve their cars performance.

    • Yeap Lewis, I am absolutely sure Branson’s gonna wear AirAsia’s costume to serve on one of their flights.

      I think Lotus will be around less than a second behind Sauber now… and maybe beat them in 5 races time.

    • BasCB said on 1st May 2010, 7:32

      The Virgin has to get more drink in her and then have some lift jobs and botox. Maybe Wirth will get it done, but i do think Lotus are on the best track here.

      The car is a box now, so i do think it is possible to find that kind of time on it.

  2. Ned Flanders said on 30th April 2010, 18:09

    What’s up with their plans to relocate to Kuala Lumpur? Is that still an option, or are they planning to stay in England? Being based in Norfolk is one of the only links they have to the former Lotus, so I hope they stay.

    • steph said on 30th April 2010, 18:19

      I think they were asked about this in the last F1 Forum on BBC or the main show at the last race and they said for now plans are still to stay in England. It could have changed though

      • Charlie said on 30th April 2010, 22:25

        Yep Tony said they were going to stay in England. I think they have realised the practicalities of being there rather than Malaysia.

    • Scribe said on 30th April 2010, 18:57

      I think they’re going to have a high tech base next to the sepang circuit. They’ll be very silly to relocate entirley to Sepang.
      It’ll be the same mistake Toyota made but a thousand times worse, Mike Gascoyne will know that better than anybody.

      Still good luck to em’ they’ve been not only the best of the new teams but the most fun so far.

    • Hey Ned. I’m from Malaysia. I think it’s safe to say they’d relocate in the future to Kuala Lumpur, but that won’t be happening until about five years from now at the earliest I’d say.

      • BasCB said on 1st May 2010, 7:33

        That sounds like a sensible approach. Get the team in order where it will work now.
        Then develop / plug into the technical capacity of the Malaysians in the coming years, to further improve it and broaden your base in the future.

        Way to go.

  3. Chaz said on 2nd May 2010, 7:52

    Reading about these updates has made me wonder if Virgin will have sorted out their fuel tank issue by Catalunya…

  4. wasiF1 said on 2nd May 2010, 8:17

    With Mike Gascoyne on board I do believe that this team will succeed the most come at the end of the year between the new teams but Sauber Ferrari.

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