Motor racing: Lotus expect huge step forward in 2015

Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:39am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Lotus expect to be far more competitive this season with a new Formula One car that they hailed as a massive step forward on Monday.

Pictures of the Mercedes-powered E23 were released on the team website ( with a standard nose replacing the 'twin-tusk' solution that failed to deliver results last year.

Technical director Nick Chester said the car was "a massive step forward" for the team, who finished fourth overall in 2013 but dropped to eighth last year with 10 points.

"It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue. We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling," he added.

"We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor."

Lotus, who have had financial difficulties, have switched from Renault to Mercedes power and retained their line-up of Frenchman Romain Grosjean and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.

Chester said the engine change was likely to bring the biggest performance gain as well as greater reliability and driveability.

"The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we’ve paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable," he said.   Continued...

Lotus Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela drives during a free practice session of the United States F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Stone