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Lotus E23 Hybrid emerges for first time - A delayed start for the team introducing a new engine

Published by Christine

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Credit: Lotus F1 Team

Lotus finally managed to join the testing action at Jerez on Monday, after a one day delay due to putting the finishing touches on their new E23. The new machinery was held at the Enstone factory whilst they made final checks on the installation of the Mercedes engine - their new power unit after switching from Renault last year.

Whether because of the caution they took before arriving in Spain, or because they finally have a decent motor on board, the team hit the ground running with over 40 laps on their first day of action. Already they are leaps and bounds above where they were this time last year, and the new car is looking ship-shape to prove it.

Improvements within our design, aero and simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward. As a team we are confident that the new car coupled with additions to the race team will enable a huge leap forward and we are full of optimism going into the new season.

- Matthew Carter, CEO, Lotus

Clearly, a lot of the attention to detail over the winter will have been on seamlessly fitting the new Mercedes power unit in place, but that's not all the team have been up to. They've had to redesign the two-pronged nose to fit with the new regulations, and they've also introduced better cooling and new front suspension to make several major changes for this year.

The rear of the car has been redesigned due to the new components hidden within, and as technical director Nick Chester says, the front also had to be looked at. "The change of nose at the front of the chassis leads to a different aero concept for the front of the car, which then affects the flow behind it."

Most teams aim for a bit of stability from one year to the next, to allow developments to shoot forward as best as possible. Lotus have the opposite, with a complete overhaul of the car, but based on their 2014 results, it could be exactly what they need.

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Credit: Lotus F1 Team

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