Lotus T128 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 cars

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. ok nice…front suspension is really interesting, how do they plan to steer the car?

    • Hare (@hare) said on 31st January 2011, 7:32

      I”m gonna shoot from the hip here, and say ‘steering wheel’.

      The four non-perpendicular rods steer the wheels.

      • Hare (@hare) said on 31st January 2011, 7:54

        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.

  2. They clearly hiding the T128 suspension details.

  3. Maciek said on 31st January 2011, 7:48

    Wow – have to still see how it’ll look in real life, but the sideshot rendering makes the new livery look f****n’ great!

  4. Nas-T said on 31st January 2011, 7:55

    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.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 31st January 2011, 9:12

      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.

      • Nas-T said on 31st January 2011, 11:03

        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!!!

  5. Sameer Cader said on 31st January 2011, 8:13

    the car looks horible

  6. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 31st January 2011, 8:20

    Personally I like it, it looks lean and clean, I wish them well :)

  7. Icthyes said on 31st January 2011, 9:00

    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.

  8. Faraz (@faraz) said on 31st January 2011, 9:13

    The thing that makes me laugh is the fact that the team this team are feuding with is going to supply them engines this year. Engine Failures anyone?????

  9. Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 31st January 2011, 9:22

    I think that that Lotus is a very good looking car and I am very pleased they stuck with the Green and Gold because I don’t think the Gold and Black would have worked as well

  10. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 31st January 2011, 9:38

    Here we go then… Team Lotus getting their car out second after Ferrari?

    Bring it on. I really hope these guys can get the job done this year. Never mind the controversy!

  11. Crapy presentation, and sticker of sponsors with different colours that the robe. In a hurry ?
    I am disappointed !

  12. Looks good :) could have done with a bit more gold/yellow on it though

    alot less ‘bath tub’ looking compared to last years car. I got a feeling its going to be a vast improvement..

  13. Catalina (@catalina) said on 31st January 2011, 11:15

    didn’t liked it :( , hope its a grower

  14. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 31st January 2011, 11:34

    First impression is, wow, are those some extremely undecut sidepods! Must eb that with them no running Kers, and the renault engine not needing so much cooling, the had a lot of spare room around the middle area…

  15. love it!
    looks like a real racer!

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