Lotus E21, 2013

Lotus E21 launch: First pictures and video

2013 F1 carsPosted on Author Keith Collantine

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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Image ?? Lotus/LAT

120 comments on “Lotus E21 launch: First pictures and video”

  1. The picture of the steering wheel is funny, you can tell it’s kimis with the ‘Ice Cream’ ‘Sat Nav’ ‘Deploy Angry Birds’ buttons and even the ‘Jenson’ button is funny which didn’t click until I proof read what I’m typing here, lol

  2. 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.

    Really? That in my opinion is not at all a valid excuse: they build the cars to far below the minimum weight limit then ballast them to bring it up to the weight limit, so “a few grams” would make absolutely no difference at all. I could understand if having the vanity panel made for an aerodynamic deficit but the weight excuse is ridiculous in my opinion. In all honesty they should be doing a justice to their fans by not having the step which may increase sponsor appeal.

    1. That’s an interesting point, although dont they only add ballast if the driver deosnt bring the weight up to the minimum weight, what if Kimi and Grosjean do.. Having said that a few grams is still nothing kimis ice creams pre-race would make more difference than that!

      1. @lemon – precisely! I imagine the panel would be carbon fibre which means, judging by the size and thickness it would have to be it would weigh about the same as half a bag of crisps! I know F1’s all about pushing everything to the limits but surely that would make no difference?!

    2. @vettel1

      “a few grams” would make absolutely no difference at all

      You’re right in saying the grams have to go somewhere, but it’s better to have them as ballast located as close to the centre of gravity as possible, and not high up on the car in a place where extra weight is more disadvantageous.

    3. It’s not just about that few grams: it’s about increasing the car’s moment of inertia. On one hand, you have the ‘roll’ of the car: the lower the centre of gravity (loosely speaking), the less strain will be put on the anti-roll bars, so these can in turn be lighter. Secondly you have the ‘pitch’ of the car: and again as the modesty panel is placed towards the front of the car, this adds to the car’s moment of inertia massively, even though it is only a very light panel.

      Considering that the stepped nose doesn’t create that much drag already and that it doesn’t affect the structure of the car at all, there is simply no real advantage of putting on a modesty panel. Only if it can serve a certain aerodynamic function, it would be worth placing it on the car.

      1. @andae23 Indeed, although it’s hardly a huge penalty! We could apply that logic to Vettel’s L.E.D’s in Singapore: they probably weighed more than the modesty panel would and are higher, hence the inertial effect would be greater – didn’t stop him from winning the race though did it? ;)

        I can fully understand where Allison is coming from but I would like to see the teams play ball and provide respite for the fans’ eyes, who indirectly are the ones funding their efforts. I’m hoping that one of the teams will find an aerodynamic gain from the panel and all the other teams will follow suit!

  3. I have a couple of questions, if I may. 1# Why is there a ”Kimi” ”sponsor” on the top of the car. Is it like it was on older Mclaren’s or is there actually a sponsor Kimi? And why not adding a vanity panel, sure it adds some weight, but again not that much, and isn’t a step on the nose causing more air resistance that a vanity panel would? tnx

    1. Why is there a ”Kimi” ”sponsor” on the top of the car. Is it like it was on older Mclaren’s or is there actually a sponsor Kimi?

      It’s not a sponsor, or a substitute for a tobacco brand. It’s there to identify the driver. I imagine that Grosjean’s car will have “Romain” in the same spot.

        1. @geemac – The Honeywell deal is said to be a title sponsorship arrangement. I doubt they would be happy with such a tiny logo. I know AT&T did it with Williams, but that was a very specific and unusual sponsorship arrangement. I have seen this mock-up of what a Honeywell livery might look like, which I tihnk is much more likely if it happens (with the Genii decal on the empty space under the Total branding on the rear wing).

          1. Interesting. The sidepod is a far more likely (and far more prominent) spot so it does make a good deal of sense. Genii do have their spot on the front wishbones, so even if they didn’t make it to the rear wing they wouldn’t be completely unrepresented on the car.

          2. @geemac – Genii did try and sell the team off last year, but the buyers lost interest because Genii put the price up after Raikkonen’s win in Abu Dhabi. That’s probably what triggered the Burn and Honeywell deals, and would explain why Lotus will (reportedly) only have a similar budget this year compared to what they had in 2012, even with the Burn and Honeywell deals.

  4. I find it a bit insulting that the owners of the team that won more championships in the last 20 years then even McLaren feel they need to rebrand their team to something allegedly better.
    Enston team has earned its place in F1 history and it made champions of no lesser names then Schumacher and Alonso. I mean, those are probably two strongest drivers to come in the last 20 years. It’s the team that made the “dream team” with Schumacher, Ross, Byrne and of course Flav. I’d find it ok to call it Renault since Renault has been with the team through last 19 years, but I think it should be called Enstone or something that reflects the team, because that team (as a group of people, not just a name for the sake of vanity) has a lot to be proud of.

    And to finish on a high, this is the team that gave debut to one and only Ayrton Senna.

    To insist on calling it Lotus, because they feel Enstone team is not good enough in its own right, is an insult to all the people that have, over the last 3 decades, made this team into what it is today. And that is, one of the most successful constructors in recent times, with altogether 7 championships.

    1. @brace – I’m pretty sure they could rename the team “Enstone” if they wanted to. However, they would have no money. The entire point of joining with Lotus in the first place was a title sponsorship deal. Without it, there is no money. Without any money, there is no way to race.

  5. With regards to the livery, I’m liking it more and more the longer I look at it. However, it is still nowhere near perfect – I think more red and less gold would look even better. And the angle and positioning of the CLEAR logo looks ridiculous. I really wish I had some aptitude with graphics programmes, because I’ve got a really good idea for what the livery could look like, but no way of showing it without describing it in detail.

  6. What really bugged me out during the launch is the way Lotus claims their history to be. I believe it was Boullier that said that the team has had many successes in the past: “Jim Clark, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso”. I was confused when I heard that, until I realized that they now claim that they are the classic Team Lotus as well as the old Toleman-Benetton-Renault team. This means that they have ‘won’ eleven titles in the past: 7 by Lotus, 2 by Benetton and 2 by Renault.

    What I want from team Enstone is that they stop claiming that they have anything to do with Team Lotus. They are sponsored by Lotus Cars, they are not Team Lotus. And now they have even made a complete mockery of the brilliant JPS livery. This just hurts

    1. @andae23

      What I want from team Enstone is that they stop claiming that they have anything to do with Team Lotus. They are sponsored by Lotus Cars, they are not Team Lotus.

      So long as they are associated with Lotus Cars, they will continue to claim to be Team Lotus. It is, after all, what Lotus Cars wants.

  7. From a technical perspective the car is clearly an evolution of the E20 albeit with what would appear to be a longer wheelbase perhaps to alter the centre of pressure based on the change of exhaust solution. There are some discrepancies between the physical launch car and some of the renderings with 2 different types of exhaust, 2 different Front Wings and altered Sidepod Vortex Generators / Wings. So it will be interesting to see what spec is used at the tests and/or whether they have multiple physical iterations to decide upon. Hopefully Keith won’t mind me adding a link to my short analysis of the car and the differences between the physical and rendered cars: http://somersf1.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/lotus-e21-launch-car-analysis.html

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