Lotus T128

Lotus set for first run in Valencia

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 Fanatic is reporting throughout the day from Valencia once again.

Today the Lotus T128 is expected to go on its maiden run. Find out more about today’s test here:

Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

What’s going on at the Nurburgring? (Autocar)

“The Nurburgring has struggled commercially for some years and, despite the obvious interest generated by Germans Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg driving for the Mercedes team, one wonders if it will again have an F1 fixture after this year?s German GP.”

Mercedes in 3D (F1 Photos)

Pictures of the new Mercedes in 3D.

Renault confident in radical exhaust (Autosport)

“Although Renault is the only team that is running the exhaust configuration in Valencia, a number of other outfits are believed to already have the concept under development and are set to introduce it before the start of the season.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

DavidS wonders if Renault have out-smarted us:

It could be a trick they?ve played to disguise the real location of their exhausts.

I seem to remember Red Bull having stickers on their car last year to trick people into believing that they didn?t do anything tricky with their exhausts.

Testing sessions are a prime opportunity for other teams to spy, so there?s lots of games played to hide true innovations. Remember the cardboard covers for diffusers last year?

From the forum

In case you’ve not had enough of the argument yet, there’s a forum thread for Lotus Renault vs Team Lotus too.

Happy birthday!

Triple birthday wishes to Sriram, Invoke and Oliver Queisser!

On this day in F1

One year ago today Stefan GP ramped up speculation that they would pull an F1 entry together in time for the first race of 2010 by announcing plans to test their car, a TF110 chassis acquired from Toyota. You don’t need me to tell you it never happened.

43 comments on “Lotus set for first run in Valencia”

  1. “Although Renault is the only team that is running the exhaust configuration in Valencia, a number of other outfits are believed to already have the concept under development and are set to introduce it before the start of the season.”

    If only they’d routed it around the monocoque the way McLaren did with the F-duct.

      1. Because once homologated, the driver’s survival cannot be changed, except on the grounds of safety. McLaren had the only true F-duct – and certainly the most efficient – last year because they could mount the intake pipe on the nose, run it back the cockpit and over onto the rear wing. Everyone else had to come up with some kind of compromise because they could not change their cockpits. The FIA would only allow changes on the basis of safety, and teams could not slip a part of te F-duct into the new design. Virgin were the only team who were granted permission to change their cockpit all year, and that was because they needed to add a larger fuel tank. If Renault had routed part of the exhaust throught the outer edges of the cockpit, the other teams would not be able to make straight copies of it, which would take them much longer and leave the advantage with Renault. Hopefully, there are major challenges that teams will need to overcome before they can run a forward exhaust. McLaren had problems with their exhaust-blown diffuser last year when superhot exhauses gases were causing their diffuser to warp slightly.

        I just hate to see technical wizardry like this negated by other teams copying it. Hopefully Renault will get at least one or two races to shine before forward exhaust clones start appearing on other cars.

        1. Surely that could cause the drivers huge discomfort if the exhast pipes ar not insulated properly?

        2. But routing it through the cockpit just to make it impossible to emulate would be pretty pointless if the most effective way of implementing it doesn’t involve running it through that area.

          1. Exactly my thoughts.

          2. Exactly my thoughts.

        3. And when the exhaust cracks you then get fully baked drivers, not some of the half baked drivers they currently have. :-)

        4. dyslexicbunny
          2nd February 2011, 16:26

          I just hate to see technical wizardry like this negated by other teams copying it.

          I do as well. I think it kills off a lot of creativity as teams that are behind just seem to copy whatever is working for others. I’d rather see something that limits car development over the season such that you can’t just copy someone else’s ideas. But then again, I want to open up a lot of options for car development and set a fixed budget to see different solutions raced.

    1. Imagine if they did? The heat would be unbearable. :O

      I love the idea though. Doesnt sound like it’ll get the “Double diffuser” treatment either. Which is good. Lets race! :)

      1. That’s what insulation is for.

        1. Yeah, F1 cockpits are known for one thing, and that is the copious amount of free-space they have available. Shove a coupla 800degree pipes right in there.

          The suggestion is entirely arrrrse-backwards
          … you design the system for optimum location, you don’t put it in a sub-optimum location so other teams can’t copy your sub-optimum solution, they’ll just put it where you wanted to put it in the first place.
          So the only person you’ve managed to trick is yourself, a second-best system, its uncopyable status being utterly irrelevant because no-one else would wish to copy such a hobbled layout.

          1. haha. great analysis!

          2. You’ve just summed up what I was saying above ^ much more eloquently.

        2. There’s not room for any sort of insulation in an F1 cockpit, never mind the sort that protects 800 degree exhaust pipes. If you should ever come face to cheek with Mark Webber’s buttocks, you’ll see visual confirmation of this…


    2. I remember reading somewhere that the fuel tank also needs to be homologated, not just the monocoque.

      Maybe that will give Renault some wiggle room? I’m assuming everybody tries to keep the fuel as close to the centre of the car and as low as possible. That obviously can’t be done with the Renault car, so if they have a clever solution there it may not be easy to copy.

  2. Happy birthday to me…

    A fiver says that Mclaren have the Renault exhausts in the Barcelona test

    1. Id be surprised if they come up with somthing different

    2. …and that Newey has one by Bahrain.

      1. Sauber to have one, in Australia, but not have it working till Canada.

        1. Ferrari road cars to adopt it in 2012, but abandon it shortly after following a spate of accidents involving expensive shoes catching fire.

          1. Hahahaha! Very clever :-)

    3. STR to develop it all year, get it right in time for the last race, just in time for it to be banned next year.

      Happy Birthday!

  3. Weal, what i’d most like to know is, what is McLaren really up to. They’ve been swimming against the current since the knew tyres where brought in. DO they have a radically differant method for acomadating them, remember they where very sucsefull in the switch to a single suplier last time round. Some sort of innovative technical wizardry that needs figuring out in the wind tunnel? Or have did there extreme late development in 2010 basically mean they… sloshed there budget up the wall too early and for nothing, there current lack of new car being attempts to make up for that with late development.

    RAAAAAGH what are they playing at and please let it be good, Alonso’s too smug for the title, Vettle’s a gitwizard!

    1. Gitwizard! Now that’s a new one :)
      I too am uber curious to see what Whitmarsh and his boys have up their sleeve.

      1. The stress of the wait is turning my hair grey…

        (gitwizard, lol)

  4. So, we’ve seen 7 definitive 2011 liveries now, and the only brand new one significantly different to last seasons is Renault’s- and even that was first shown months ago. The subtle changes to the Mercedes were a nice surprise, the lack of changes to the Sauber were just as unexpected but in a bad way, and the other four are practically unchanged from 2010.

    So, for livery afficando’s like myself, this pre season has been a huge let down so far. But although we can expect McLaren and Force India to stay the same, fingers crossed Williams and HRT can pull something special out of the bag. I want the Williams to be purple and yellow, and the HRT to be bright pink

    1. So, for livery afficando’s like myself, this pre season has been a huge let down so far.

      I halfway agree with you. I do think the Renault looks better outside that it did in all the renderings and autosport show pictures. I think the Lotus is slightly improved as is the Mercedes. The Sauber is by far the biggest letdown. I had high hopes for a Telmex livery, like this or this, either of which would’ve been a lot better than what they’ve gone with. Could it be for budgetary reasons that they’ve turned out such a terrible crayon livery? Red Bull, Ferrari, and Torro Rosso are all fine liveries, but boring for basically remaining unchanged. With the red and yellow of Venezuela, I hope Williams integrate those with the blue and white for an early ’90s retro livery. I’m not expecting to be surprised by any of the remaining liveries except possibly HRT and to a lesser extent Virgin.

      1. The first rendering of a Telmex livery looks really good. Would’ve been nice to see something like that on track. There hasn’t been a good light-blue livery since Mild Seven stopped sponsoring Renault.

      2. Well with HRT hiring that hollywood artist, it should be quite striking, if not beautiful. I liked Virgins livery last year, one that actually had some style to it, so I suspect good things from them as well.

      3. We’ll soon see what they rally look like, but the Lotus sideview rendering looked great, I thought.

  5. short little renault testing footage

    and some german testing clip

    1. Your first clip there is the R30, not the R31.

      The RTL clip is interesting. Nico’s joking about not knowing if you can use the rear wing until the light comes on on your steering wheel, so you spend your time driver staring at the wheel to see if the light comes on…

      1. I meant “driving,” not “driver.” Whoops.

      2. I do think it was partly joking, but a nice comment from Rosberg anyhow

  6. I was expecting the Ferrari to be “bright pink” in order for them to show that they were no longer trying to attract attention to their main sponsor.

    1. But that would force the unconnected sponsor to change the packs as well, to mach the car color ;-)

  7. What Renault did interesting but the question remains that whether will it work.

  8. Comment of the day, wooo!

  9. UneedAFinn2Win
    2nd February 2011, 5:21

    Keith, your Häkkinen interview has made it’s way to Finnish MTV3 F1-site.
    Well, the Schumacher quotes anyway.

  10. Look who joining Team Lotus

    First real picture of T128

  11. What happened to Stefan GP, last I heard they were eager to get a 2011 place… So are we going for a 24 car grid this season as well?

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