Lotus T128

Lotus T128 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 carsPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Lotus have revealed the first images of their 2011 F1 car which is now called the T128.

The car was originally supposed to be called the TL11 which, according to the team, was to ??simplify what could have been another point of contention?? with Renault over the use of the name ‘Lotus’.

When asked by F1 Fanatic on Twitter about the change of name Tony Fernandes said:

Because we are continuing with history. We are a new dynasty but tradition continues.
Tony Fernandes

One of the most striking features on the car is the use of a ‘blade’ roll hoop with a split air intake. However the central part of the ‘blade’ has to be thicker because of the change in the 2011 rules.

Mercedes pioneered the design last year but the first picture of their new W02 shown yesterday indicated they are not using such a layout this year.

Lotus’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne has high hopes for the new car:

I think that basically this car looks like a front-running car in every area. We said very clearly that we want to start challenging the established teams and I think that’s very achievable.
Mike Gasoyone

The team also confirmed the T128 does not have a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. Chief operating officer Keith Saunt said:

If KERS was going to get us from eighth to sixth then we?d have it. But when you look at the weight of it and some of the engineering challenges, I think it?s a good decision not to start with it. We might end up with it, who knows?
Keith Saunt

The team switch from Cosworth to Renault power this year and the T128’s gearbox is sourced from Red Bull.

Tony Fernandes’ Air Asia brand features prominently on the car. The airline previously sponsored Williams. The T128 also sports the logos of energy drink EQ8.

The car will be shown in public at Valencia tomorrow and be given its first run by Heikki Kovalainen on Wednesday.

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147 comments on “Lotus T128 launch – first pictures”

  1. I’m not really a fan. The livery just ruins it. Especially that yellow streak at the back. And those dark and moody backgrounds destory any chance of making out the details.

    It’s funny, though. I thought the narrow Mercedes-esque rollhoop was banned for this year.

    1. Not if it’s thick enough, apparently. The rules have a requirement about the minimum cross-section of the roll structure. If that’s met then I reckon it’s legal.

    2. The livery just ruins it. Especially that yellow streak at the back.

      Really?! That’s the best part! I didn’t like the 2010 livery much, too dark I thought, but with more yellow it’s much improved, and with no R30 on the grid this season we could do with some more yellow. I think the livery is great. Much better than the R31 with that TOTAL-ly intrusive red garbage.

      1. I agree – that yellow streak in the back, combined with the yellow streak on the front of the rear/front wing endplates looks great. The least impressive bit of the livery is the rather cluttered looking nose.

        I also think the green might be a bit lighter, but that could just be a matter of lighting (of course, the rendering is metallic green, but well, that’s just a rendering)

  2. I have been disconnected from the whole Renault – Lotus naming controversy. I tried reading up a bit but gave up.

    For 2011, my nomenclature will be having only two names – Heikki’s car and Kubica’s car. Makes things much more easier. So, is the above car Kubica’s or Heikki’s?

  3. In total a step forward from last year’s car.The sidepod’s and the airbox above are interesting but the front suspension looks plain simple.Does they have KERS?I think they don’t.

  4. Another great quote from the Team Lotus Notes Magazine :

    Under extreme
    braking, some drivers
    have said that this force
    is so great that their
    tear ducts squirt water
    into their visors

    1. I don’t understand why they didn’t use the (beautiful) winning livery design and perform a simple palette swap. Change the black to green, and the gold to yellow.

      I did tweet them 3 times asking if they would/could, but for all the ‘fan friendlyness’ they promote, I got not a single reply.

  5. I think having no KERS could be advantage when it comes to weight, if they have less weight in the car like the Braen did they have a chance to show some improvment.

    1. Nope. The FIA increased the minimum weight for 2011 so that you couldn’t benefit from omitting the KERS, so presumably the disadvantage of not running KERS will be greater than it was in 2009.

    1. What in that article makes you dislike the team?

      The headline sounds a bit harsh, but like most headlines is slightly out of context, no-one says they’re aiming to embarrass the established teams, just that if they do start beating them then it could be embarrassing for them, which it probably would be.

      Otherwise it just sounds like they’re very ambitious.

    2. blame it on autosport editor for putting that kind of headline when the whole context of the article is about Team Lotus and their aim for 2011 season…

      it’s seems like autosport has some kind of beef with team lotus

    3. The problem for these other teams is that if we’ve been going for a year and then we start beating them, it’s a very clear message and it sends out a story which is embarrassing for them and good for us,

      That’s spot on. If I was Torro Rosso, and Team Lotus come along and beat us in their 2nd year, I would be embarrassed! I’d also fear for my job, because something is clearly wrong.

      To be honest, the Editor has done his part to make a sensation to get more hits, and sell more units. Whats new?

      For such an intelligent guy PM, I’m a little disappointed you’re so easily influenced in this particular instance.

  6. Not really important, but the stripe going up the nose looks horrible with all those logos interrupting it. I wonder if they will make it more pleasing to the eye before the first race.

      1. On closer look it appears that the logos on the nose of the launch car (Naza, Tune) look like stickers that were placed over the stripes at the last minute. The final version should have a more consistent shade of green as per the CGI renderings.

        1. Indeed, they are stickers. But that doesn’t escuse the fact that it’s pointless having a racing stripe down the centre of your car when all you’re going to do it break it up every 3 inches with a sponsorship logo.

          It just treads muddy boots all over the design philosophy and makes it look amature at best.

      2. To me it looks like that car was finished late (part of the front suspension not installed) and the sponsor stickers were just put on right before the pictures were taken as they did not manage to get this chassis properly painted beforehand (or were not sure which logo to put where on the nose before yesterday?). A bit shabby.

      1. Although I’m a touch tentative on that. My reason for calling that one is the following quote :

        Elliot: I agree – the area that intrigues me the most is the front suspension, and the rear as well actually. We’ve tried to push the boundaries with a few things to make it a bit lighter and more efficient.

  7. the suspension look like a rapid prototypes material, not a real one and the rear end lack of drive shaft. I think the real t128 is on the way to Valencia.

    1. The rear end also seems to miss a bit of floor – we should be able to see some of it between the rear wheels – especially of the diffuser? I think they just didn’t bolt it on, considering the missing front-suspension details too.

      1. Yup..maybe this is only a show car. I think there is not real gear box at the end of the car, they maybe just used the mock up…or maybe this is the new “lotus technology”, no push/pull rod, no drive shaft, no diffuser, no steering arm. WOW!!!

  8. After all that Keith, they’ve changed the name! ;-)

    Looks very very nice and like it could be up in the midfield this year. I’m not sure about them dropping KERS but it’s not a huge advantage, Brawn and Red Bull won without it in 2009.

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