Lotus E21 launch: First pictures and video

2013 F1 cars

The Lotus E21 has become the first new F1 car of the 2013 to break cover after it was revealed by the team at its factory.

Team principal Eric Boullier said the squad are aiming for the top three in the constructors’ championship with their new car.

The E21 features a step in its nose despite teams being allowed to use a ‘vanity panel’ to cover them if they choose. Technical director James Allison said: “we have not done it yet because the cosmetic panel would weigh a few grams and with a Formula One car putting a few grams on that you don’t need to is anathema to us.

“However if we find a cosmetic panel that looks nice but, much more importantly and crucially, develops a bit of downforce, then we’ll pop it on quick as you like.”

The team have retained Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for their 2013 campaign and the pair will start their second year together as team mates.

Also unchanged is the team’s engine supplier, Renault. This is the second car the team has produced since changing its name to Lotus.

It carries on the model designation introduced last year: the E21 is the 21st car produced by this team in its four different identities: Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Lotus.

Video: Lotus E21 laser display

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120 comments on Lotus E21 launch: First pictures and video

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  1. Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 28th January 2013, 19:26

    insanely beautiful. it looks like it’s from many years in the future, and the curves and colours are amazing.

  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th January 2013, 19:28

    Unspectacular livery ruined even more. Not even in those flashy, highly photoshoped pictures the car looks good.

    It’s not bad… not good either.

    • ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 28th January 2013, 22:45

      +1 on that. For one, I hoped they’d ditch the red, and another, I thought they’d get rid of the stepped nose?

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th January 2013, 23:33

      This was my take on it in the forum;

      I like the red actually. Because having only red endplates always looked silly to me. Introducing more red to the car makes it seem a little less like an afterthought. It also makes it look less like a cheap rip-off and more like they’re actually trying to do their own thing.

      I always thought this team using the JPS livery was a bit wrong, so I’d prefer they alter it like this.

  3. Cryptowillem (@cryptowillem) said on 28th January 2013, 19:29

    I see they decided against using a modesty panel to cover the “Owen Wilson” nose.

  4. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 28th January 2013, 19:31

    Why the renders always make the red look pinkish? The same thing was last year. The car itself – unspectacular, nihil novi.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 3:17

      @cyclops_pl – It has to do with the properties of light. The colour red exists on the extreme end of the visible spectrum of light, and operates on a very short wavelength; any shorter, and it would be invisible to the naked eye (that’s why the first wavelengths outside the spectrum of light are called infra-red). Because of this short wavelength, something gets lost when the colour is photographed or filmed. If you’ve ever been to a race, you’ll notice that the Ferraris are actually a very dark red; considerably darker than they appear on television. This is because Ferrari know that there is a bigger audience watching the broadcast than there is attending the race, and so have adjusted the colour of their cars so that they appear to be the correct colour on television. It is not a problem for other colours, because as we advance up through the colour spectrum to orange, yellow, green and all the way through to violet, the wavelengths become longer and longer.

      • DavidS (@davids) said on 29th January 2013, 7:39

        Actually…
        The pink is a result of reflections on the panels from the studio (which is white) and also from the lights (which are also white). White + red = pink. Normally a white highlight on a red car just makes the red a little desaturated, but the image editor has bumped up the saturation on the images, which gives us magenta.

        Also, digital cameras (and computer screens) use three colours to create colour – Red, Green and Blue (RGB). Wavelengths around the red part of the spectrum are fairly easily rendered. Most cameras are also able to capture a little bit of IR and UV, but manufacturers put high-pass and low-pass filters on the sensors to block out those wavelengths, which will affect the overall colour of the image. You can try taking a photo of the business end of a remote control and see light.
        The amount of filtering is dependent on the manufacturer, and most let at least a little IR light through.

        It should be noted that in digital imaging – and for that matter, even printing – that the colour space (essentially a map of every colour) is not linear (like wavelengths), but spread out between three points (each point being Red, Green and Blue). Because of this fundamental difference in describing a particular colour, images are basically an approximation of colour.

      • Bradley Cornish said on 29th January 2013, 7:48

        Sorry to nit-pick, but the wavelength is longest at red and becomes shorter as you go through the visible spectrum. It is the frequency that becomes shorter as you go from red to violet (they are inversely proportional). c=λf; c is constant. As frequency increases, wavelength decreases.

        As frequency increases the energy also increases (E=hc/λ=hcf). It is for this reason that red is lost before other colours; it has less energy. This also occurs as you travel through water. At 50m depth you can barely see red, let alone orange and yellow.

  5. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 28th January 2013, 19:34

    I thought step noses were banned for 2013.. or is that next year ?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th January 2013, 19:55

      Stepped noses were never “banned” – teams were given the option of using ‘vanity’ panels but as said above Lotus aren’t:

      FIA publishes new F1 rules for 2013 and 2014

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 28th January 2013, 19:56

      @aimalkhan It’s not ban, they were allowed to hide them with modesty panel as they call it. Those panels wouldn’t count in the measured height of the nose apparently. From James Alliston comment, we could also deduced they could introduce it if they can get some downforce from it (already tweaking a bit the thing)

    • Giuseppe (@giuseppe) said on 28th January 2013, 21:06

      I’m glad to see the aesthetic freak show that the stepped nose brought last season will survive at least a while longer. Oh joy.

    • troutcor said on 28th January 2013, 21:19

      Lotus guys said at the unveiling that covering the nose would cost them a few grams.
      Never a good idea to add weight, no matter how small.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th January 2013, 22:08

      As Allison righthly says

      “However if we find a cosmetic panel that looks nice but, much more importantly and crucially, develops a bit of downforce, then we’ll pop it on quick as you like.”

      its function over beauty here.

      • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 28th January 2013, 23:34

        I can save them a few grams…by giving it a wash looks like they got the diffuser fresh out of a saw mill.

        jokes aside i like it, it looks better than last years car.

  6. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 28th January 2013, 19:35

    It looks like a black McLaren…

  7. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 28th January 2013, 19:35

    I think it’s looks pretty good, even with the stepped-nose, which I’m kind of used to now anyway. It was a fair comment of them to say that adding a modesty panel on would be pointless, as it would be unnecessary weight. I can see maybe a couple of teams doing adding them on, but definitely not all. The likes of Red Bull and possibly Sauber come to mind.

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 28th January 2013, 19:37

    We’ll have to see what the others come out with – but on first impressions that looks very tidy indeed. Yes, there’s more red… (in a McLaren-esque way, actually) but at least the splash of red on the wing is a lot more tasteful than the way it was done last year. The wing on this render is different the one at the launch, though, and I have a feeling the one above is purely to make it look pretty!

  9. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 28th January 2013, 19:37

    I really like the livery.. It’s a bit odd but the red used to ruin the livery – now there’s more of it, it makes much more sense and looks miles better.

    I wonder if anyone’s going to go for the modesty panel? Surely someone will manage to find a way of benefiting from it and then everyone will jump in. Perhaps some teams have – I wouldn’t expect them to launch their cars with it on though if they have.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 3:11

      @petebaldwin

      I wonder if anyone’s going to go for the modesty panel?

      McLaren almost certainly won’t, but then, they don’t need it – their design philosophy over the past few years has centred on lower noses, and with that being the direction the regulations will go in for 2014, they won’t need a step nose.

      Williams have confirmed that they will not use a stepped nose; Valtteri Bottas confirmed it in an interview with a South African motoring magazine.

      I suspect Ferrari will use a modesty plate, since Luca di Montezemolo was one of the biggest critics of the nose shape when they first broke cover last year, and Luca tends to get what he wants.

      I’m guessing Red Bull won’t use the modesty plate. That vent in the stepped nose on the RB8 was there for a reason, and since it hasn’t been banned, I don’t see why they would give up on it unless it did not perform as expected.

      It’s a bit harder to tell with everyone else.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 29th January 2013, 6:28

      I like the way they higlight driver’s name.

  10. Phil Wright (@05mpwright) said on 28th January 2013, 19:38

    Despite some negative comments I actually really like it. I quite like the additional red too, and the stepped-nose doesn’t really bother me, I got used to them last year! Can’t wait to see the other cars now!

  11. First they change the gold to beige. Now they add some unnecessary red. It’s not a dreadful livery but not as good as last year’s or the one they had in the first half of 2011. Anyway who really cares about looks I hope they pick up at least two or three wins with this one!

  12. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 28th January 2013, 19:41

    So we gonna see stepped noses again? Q_Q

  13. William Brierty said on 28th January 2013, 19:43

    Thank God I’m not the only one somewhat underwhelmed. Okay it has a rather nice RBRish exhaust exit, but the front is identical, including the “platypus nose”, and for some the livery has been unnecessarily changed. Actually I hate the red. However as my deity Martin Brundle says, some cars, like the MP4-27 and the F2008, just look fast; and E21 looks very fast.

  14. Estesark (@estesark) said on 28th January 2013, 19:43

    Not awful, but I preferred last year’s design. Three colours is more difficult to pull off than two colours, definitely.

  15. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 28th January 2013, 19:47

    The renders smartly leave out the front suspension rod. One would not know it is a conventional push-rod suspension, if he or she had not seen the launch.

    I’m also impressed to see the emphaisis the McLaren-esque vertical fins got on the front wing instead of the small additional winglets. On the other hand, I expected more vertices on the wing. Mind you, the whole construction will likely be totally different for Melbourne, we cannot know what specification this is.

    I’m also surprised by the lack of a passive DRS device, but then again, it might pop up during the tests some time.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 28th January 2013, 19:51

      @atticus-2 if you look closely, you see that the car they launched is different from the car in the images above. The rendered car features additional inlet ducts above the driver’s head, which was part of Lotus’ ‘device’ last year. So, I’m guessing that they will retain the passive DRS device.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 28th January 2013, 23:53

      @atticus-2 @andae23 I have payed attention to this as well … and as andae mention, you clearly have 2 sets of pics and what’s interesting is also that you can’t see the duct going from the intake to the rear wing. no pics featuring the car with intake allow us to see that part and on the one without intake it’s vacant without any surprise.
      So I’m pretty sure they kept the so called “Device” from last year …

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