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. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th January 2013, 20:23

    I like it. The red looks good, especially on the sidepods. The front wing also looks cool. It’d be nice to se it without the stepped nose but I always thought it was the best of a bad bunch anyway.

  2. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 28th January 2013, 20:31

    Is it just me or does the step in the nose look like it’s a little further back than last years? maybe they’ve found a use for the ‘vanity panel’?, probably just my eyes playing tricks on me but damn the back end looks sleek, and I like the little more red in the livery.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th January 2013, 8:00

      I have also heard speculation that they will introduce the vanity panel, but don’t want to show it yet as to not give away any hints to their competitors. Personally, I think this is nonsense: the nose cone is pretty much not a key area for improvement (except possibly the height and surface of the underside of the nose). Also looking at the 2014 regulations, it seems a bit unnecessary to focus on the nose as the regulations for it will change for next year anyway.

  3. xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 28th January 2013, 20:33

    >the nose

    Nooooope.

  4. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 28th January 2013, 20:43

    It looks ok I suppose, not a big fan of the red on it, I don’t really mind the step nose.

  5. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 28th January 2013, 20:53

    No team will show the final version of the 2013 car before the first race for sure. And the rules hasn’t change a lot. Expect the radical change by the teams that didn’t hit the spot last year.

  6. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 28th January 2013, 20:54

    That’s gorgeous.

  7. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 28th January 2013, 20:54

    Noticed Kimi’s name up by the T-pod.

  8. Love the steering wheel LOL

  9. FlyingLobster27 said on 28th January 2013, 20:57

    Anyone else noticed the mock-up steering wheel? No prizes for guessing what the “Ice Cream” or “Angry Bird” buttons do… aaaaand I just got the joke for the one labelled “Jenson”. What a groaner. :D

  10. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 28th January 2013, 20:58

    To me it looks like two cars. Look at the side view. The back half and the front half just dont match. The back is nice and sleek and then the front has a stupid boxey look to it

    Such is modern f1 today i guess

  11. sbl on tour (@sbl-on-tour) said on 28th January 2013, 21:12

    looks as if its going to be pretty quick and thats what its all about, the little wing on the side look a little strange, wonder if they can move/ or are allowed to move

  12. Russell (@robo09) said on 28th January 2013, 21:29

    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

  13. 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.

    • Lemon (@lemon) said on 28th January 2013, 22:07

      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!

      • @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?!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th January 2013, 23:54

      @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.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th January 2013, 8:13

      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.

      • @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!

  14. Patrick (@patrickrigby) said on 28th January 2013, 21:53

    Lotus is supposed to be black and gold. The end.

  15. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 28th January 2013, 22:07

    the red on the side pods really is far too mclaren-esque

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