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. verstappen said on 31st January 2011, 12:14

    The way of working reminds me of Toyota: There Gascoyne also started with a very ‘boxy’ car and went from there to a rounder (and better) car. Who knows what would have happened there if he got along with the management?

    I think at Spyker/Midland the budget was just too crappy to start all over, because I can’t remember a ‘boxy’ first car. Or maybe the problem for Gascoyne was that there already was a car.

    However, here he started again with a clean sheet and hence I expect his words to become true. Now we just have to see which established teams Lotus can fight. Toro Rosso? Williams? Sauber? …Renault?

    Oh, that would be massively entertaining: if Lotus’re capable of challenging Renault!

  2. box this lap (@sebashuis) said on 31st January 2011, 12:44

    Still don’t get the reason why they want to bring a old team back into F1 but Fernandes is doing it 10000 times better, and finally some decent Air Asia logo’s!

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 31st January 2011, 13:18

    I like the look of it! The airbox does look a little on the small side however..

    The curve is very nice.

  4. Gaston said on 31st January 2011, 13:23

    I find it funny that the newsletter (or whatever it is) is called “Team Lotus Notes”. I got confused with IBM’s email software. :D

    Nice car. I hope it’s fast.

  5. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st January 2011, 13:55

    Those sidepods are intriguing… The livery also looks great from the side, with that thick strip of yellow.

  6. chaostheory said on 31st January 2011, 14:04

    This Lotus-Renault is prettier than the other Lotus-Renault.
    I hope its faster too…

  7. Fixy (@fixy) said on 31st January 2011, 14:30

    Apart from the fact the logos on the front are clearly stuck on top as they are of a different colour, I don’t like the yellow stripe being interrupted so many times by sponsors.

  8. The car will look fantastic if it is quick out on the track.

  9. Younger Hamilton said on 31st January 2011, 19:05

    The Front Wing Plates looks very similar to the RB6’s anyway nice look but once again does it have the Performance to build on from Last Year.

  10. Calum (@calum) said on 31st January 2011, 19:49

    The aero looks 100% better than 2010 Lotus Racing car, so hopefully performs by the same margin!!
    Aesthetically it looks sweet, I’m glad they have BRG, and hopefully the sponsor logo placemnt will be refined – they look like cheap stickers at the moment.

    The energy juice called EQ8 is pronounced Equate – I just noticed! :P

    And finbally I think the MP4-26 (Mclaren 2011) will have the roll hoop blade. I have a hunch… ;)

  11. Horrible paint scheme, especially up back.

    Car looks ok, but don’t expect much of it.

    Gazza should zip it with his beating most of the field comments, it sounds loco, focus on beating HRT and Virgin again first.

  12. Cole (@cole) said on 31st January 2011, 23:25

    Weird they have Red Bull provided gear boxes and suspension, and they are sponsored by EQ8….

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st February 2011, 0:22

    Looking forward to seeing some proper images of the T128. The renderings are good but nothing like the real thing!

    The fin looks fantastic, hope it proves beneficial.

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