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

  1. Marco Rizzi said on 28th January 2013, 19:47

    Congratulations to F1 fanantic, for putting this story out before many other F1 blogs.
    Fast work. You are the first of the launch coverers.

    The car? Could have put on a nose cover just for the launch.
    Still no sign of any sponsor spelling “H. O. N. E. Y. W. E. …..etc”

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 28th January 2013, 19:48

    Regarding the livery: apart from the fact it looks like a dark 2011 HRT, I’m actually starting to like the livery. There’s more black on the car, which I find very, very nice on an F1 car (like the old Shadows, DN11 to name one), especially the front and rear wing look a lot nicer. The red is a bit to prominent for my taste though. I find it a shame that they haven’t decided to stick with the classic black and gold JPS livery.

    About the actual car: they clearly focussed on the sidepods and the exhaust for this year’s car. Funny is that the images above are significantly different from the car that was launched half an hour ago. The exhaust in both images feature a ramp and a tunnel, like Red Bull had last year. But the most significant thing is their ‘Device': the launched car didn’t feature it, but the images clearly show the inlets around the main air inlet above the driver’s head, similar to the old car. So my guess is that the car will have something like that at the first test. Also liked the integration of the Sauber wings with the eyebrow fins on top of the sidepods.

    Then moving on to the launch: fantastic that they launched it online, it’s fantastic for us fans to witness the actual moment! I have some remarks though: I was a bit disappointed that the technical analysis didn’t go any deeper than “the details add up” and “still a stepped nose?”. And I found it a real shame that images of the E21 were leaked before the actual launch. But all in all, I’m very excited! 2013 is go, go, go!!!

  3. The change in the amount of red over the last couple of years can be used to conclusively prove that Ferraris evolve from Renaults.

  4. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th January 2013, 19:51

    First of many cars that just evolve last year’s one a bit, I guess.
    No need to cover that stepped nose up – once again the black and gold hides it well – and the step makes the number show up better.

    I’m sure the red will grow on me. It’ll look good with super softs on!

    Always good to see the driver’s name in big letters – the numbers keep changing so they’re meaningless these days anyway. Shame they couldn’t use a readable font though! That could say ‘Himl’, another new sponsor to go with ‘Bum’.

    • “Always good to see the driver’s name in big letters – the numbers keep changing so they’re meaningless these days anyway. Shame they couldn’t use a readable font though! That could say ‘Himl’, another new sponsor to go with ‘Bum’.”

      I’m sure the driver names are just place-holders, i’d expect there to be sponsors names/logos there come the first race.

    • Duchess (@duchess) said on 29th January 2013, 3:22

      I personally wish F1 teams would go back to using more visible car numbers like Williams did in 2011. Sure, the numbers may change each season but it still helps loads when you’re trying to keep a grip on the race action. Of course, it is a bit more handy when watching F1 in person compared to on tv, but I do appreciate it! :\

  5. This car looks like a 2012 HRT near the sidepods. Hope the similarities end there.

  6. photozen (@photozen) said on 28th January 2013, 19:51

    I feel the livery is ok, not a great graphics achievement but fairly clean. Seems like 2 shades of gold the red for some reason doesn’t look at bad as last year. I noticed all images avoid a close look at the side pods, and a lot of it seems a bit McLarenesque, but overall a pretty sleek new Lotus F1 car and we will see what Kimi and Romain can do with it soon. The announcer for the launch seemed a bit off, but all in all a good launch and again, a pretty sleek new Lotus.

  7. Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor) said on 28th January 2013, 19:54

    Are these graphics fake, the exhaust dosen’t look real?

  8. Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 28th January 2013, 19:55

    Not all the photos have front suspension pieces obscured. It looks to be very tidy, in an aero sense. And look at those crazy turning vanes extending down from the front hubs. Nice wings on front suspension components should give some additional bite.

    As a contender, it looks to have all the right pieces, including drivers.

  9. Slr (@slr) said on 28th January 2013, 20:04

    I’m disappointed to see the stepped-nose, but whatever works for them.

    When I saw the livery, initially I was like “what on earth is this”, but now I think it looks great. Black and red has always gone well together I believe.

    • I’ve always liked the black/red.

      I’ve read on another site that potential reason for stepped nose still is that they’ve found some performance gain from the ‘modesty’ panel and dont wanna give it away yet.

  10. Get rid of the red on the side and it would be properly pretty, last years car was the best shapes and i like the new gold bits, much more subtle, just the red sidepods…

    So, i fixed it https://twitter.com/Butler_F1/status/295982437740195840/photo/1

    Unfortunately im not quick enough to photoshop the live stream video so it’ll be red during the races.

  11. “It’s ok..” – Kimi Raikkonen

  12. Master said on 28th January 2013, 20:12

    It’s a E20 Hybrid, not true E21 yet. (Like Lotus did in 2012 Launch pretending R31 Hybrid was a new E20) Let’s wait til Lotus put its new real car on track.

    • robfff said on 28th January 2013, 22:58

      It goes without saying…

      All the cars released will be PR versions and not really what we will see at the track.

  13. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 28th January 2013, 20:13

    My thoughts on the extra Red is that it is there because the team now has sponsorship from Coca-Cola via their “Burn” energy drink.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 3:58

      @fisha695 – If that were the case, the red would be centred on the Burn logos. Looking at the car, the increased red in the livery couldn’t be further away from those logos.

      Besides, this is what a can of Burn looks like. Their colours are black, gold and orange. No red.

      • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 29th January 2013, 9:55

        Yes but Burn is a Coca-Cola product that is only sold in a few countries, the extended red will have the defacto “hey that’s the Coke car” response from people pretty much universally across the globe. Putting the red around the Burn logos wouldn’t work because as you said their logo (specifically the upper part of the flame) contains orange which would get lost in the red.

  14. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 28th January 2013, 20:15

    Last year I said the E20 looked ot innovatice and that it would probably be uncompettative. I was made to eat those words, which is a good thing, bcs I really support his team!

    This one looks underwhelmong too… but! I like the livery, was ecpecting to see the “Burn”brand featured more prominently though…

    All in all, I like :D

  15. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 28th January 2013, 20:21

    Not using the ‘vanity panel’ because

    the panel would add weight to the car.

    Proper motor racing attitude :)

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