Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Lotus launch E21 chassis online - The first new car of 2013 is revealed courtesy of Lotus F1

Published by Christine

First view of the E21

Lotus are set to become the first team to launch their 2013 challenger, with a very handy post-work (in the UK) online presentation. Team Principal Éric Boullier will present the new car in all its glory, whilst Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean will no doubt be on hand to talk up the chances of the team in 2013.

Potential changes include a good look at the stepped or non-stepped nose, there are rumours of some significant livery changes, and potentially some new sponsor logos as well.

Follow the Factbyte Factbox for updates as the first brand new car of 2013 is revealed.

As it happened: Lotus F1 Team 2013 launch

Event Highlights

  • The E21 is uncovered by Grosjean and Räikkönen.
  • The livery remains black and gold with increased red.
  • No modesty panel on the car due to minimal weight increase.
  • Boullier: "Third place is at least an achievement we would like to have next year."
  • 18:01

    Hello, welcome, here we are an hour ahead of the launch, eagerly anticipating our first taste of F1 2013-style.

  • 18:06

    Lotus did, of course, provide a teaser video ahead of their launch, with Kimi being interviewed by a famous face:

  • 18:08

    There's also an audio clip of the E21 being fired up for the first time:

  • 18:09

    I don't quite understand the appeal of the engine noise, I would usually mute that bit on TV. But still, props to Lotus for sharing.

  • 18:10

    TweetA little while ago from @RGrosjean: Few more hours before the @Lotus_F1Team launch! Excited? I'm ;-)

  • 18:14

    A teaser image of the E21, via @Lotus_F1Team.

  • 18:15

    And your destination for watching the launch, Lotus on YouTube.

  • 18:34

    TweetTweet from @SkySportsF1: Slight hiccup for Lotus: original plan to launch the E21 in a marquee thwarted by freak winds. Event now taking place on factory floor

  • 18:52

    The live stream is, well, live and streaming. Nothing to see yet though.

  • 19:09

    Hashtags make the livery of the Lotus, via @Lotus_F1Team.

  • 19:10

    The YouTube numbers suggest just over 5000 people are tuned in right now. One of them is me!

  • 19:15

    Ooh, the live stream has woken up!

  • 19:16

    The Sky Sports News presenter is introducing and describing the change of scenery, due to the wind problem. Grosjean lurks in the background, grinning.

  • 19:18

    Interview with Gerard Lopez: "I think there is never a compromise in Formula One. It's a year where everyone will still be shooting for getting the maximum out of our team. Hopefully we can do better than last year."

  • 19:19

    Interview with Eric Boullier: "Third place is at least an achievement we would like to have next year. We expect to have the momentum from 2012, some stability in the regulations, both drivers more eager than ever, and 500 people here at Enstone who will deliver a nice car, and are really keen to do better than 2012. We will fight everything we can to be in the top three."

  • 19:20

    Gerard talks of the atmosphere that helps Kimi to be at his best, and Eric talks of what they want from Grosjean this year: "Obviously, to not run like 2012."

  • 19:20

    Technical Director, James Allison, appears on screen.

  • 19:21

    Interview with James Allison: "I can assure you we've done a lot. The whole team have been working heart and soul on this thing for a long time. First to launch is a nice thing, it gives us first opportunity to catch the attention and have people excited along with us."

  • 19:21

    More from James: "The rules for 2013 are very similar to those from 2012. You can expect a lot of family resemblance, but as ever, the devil is in the detail, and the detail of this car adds up to a significant amount of performance."

  • 19:22

    The two drivers make their appearance, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen walk towards the covered car to scattered applause.

  • 19:23

    Interview with Romain Grosjean: "As everybody said, we did our best to improve from last year. We had a beautiful car last year to drive, Kimi won a race, we had some podiums. Everybody wants more and that's what we're going to try to achieve."

  • 19:23

    Interview with Kimi Räikkönen: "It's not going to be easy to improve what we did last year but that's our aim, to do better not just for the drivers but for the team also. Hopefully we can do it."

  • 19:23

    Allison speaks to Sky.

  • 19:24

    The boys move to pick up the covers off the front of the car, and the E21 is revealed!

  • 19:24

    They're struggling a bit to get the covers over the tricky bits, but there it is, in all its step-nosed glory.

  • 19:24

    There's a lot more red than there was last year. Crucially, the wing mirrors are no longer red, instead it is on the sidepods, the roll hoop, and as before, the rear wing endplates.

  • 19:26

    Interview with Romain Grosjean: "I think it's clear for everybody that we had good qualifying speed but too many incidents. Hopefully the car will be good, I know the guys worked very hard. It looks very nice which is a good starting point. I'll try to improve myself every time I jump in the car."

  • 19:26

    Räikkönen and Grosjean take questions.

  • 19:27

    James Allison explains why they have not got the modesty panel - it weighs a few grams, and in F1, grams are everything.

  • 19:28

    Interview with Kimi Räikkonen: "We all start from the same zero point, it should be a bit easier because I know the people, the people know me now and it's more easier to go to the first race, for sure. But it doesn't mean we'll get a better result, hopefully it will. That's what we're hoping for."

  • 19:30

    The Sky Sports guy shakes hands with all three, and thanks the team for unveiling the car to us all.

  • 19:31

    E21 and co.

  • 19:31

    And that appears to be a wrap for the Sky Sports coverage, but the online reaction continues!

  • 19:33

    As someone who has rallied against the red before, I'll say this - it's not a pretty livery, but better to have more red than stupidly lonely red wing mirrors.

  • 19:33

    A mock-up of the E21.

    The E21 in the studio
  • 19:34

    The extra yellow tyres in that picture do not help!

  • 19:35

    TweetTweet from @eddstrawF1: "No surprise to see Lotus not running the vanity panel on the step nose. Going to see that a lot."

  • 19:36

    Looking down the nose at the E21.

  • 19:40

    Gerard Lopez on Kimi Räikkönen: "There is a special Enstone culture, laid back is the wrong term, but it's an accepting culture of people that handle things in certain ways. There's a common denominator and that's racing. Whether it's Kimi, or Romain, as long as the common denominator is respected, that's all we care about."

  • 19:45

    Isn't he lovely?

  • 19:47

    The excitement is over for now, then, but keep checking back for further updates over the course of the evening.

  • 19:47

    TweetTweet from @adamcooperf1: #F1 We shouldn't get too excited as the team has a habit of using show cars for launches so perhaps we haven't quite seen a 2013 car yet

  • 19:50

    TweetTweet from @VivaF1: This seems to be "Himi"'s car. I wonder what "Grosjean" will look like in weird font. #E21

  • 20:36

    I always assumed third and reserve driver was the same thing, but Lotus have D'Ambrosio as reserve, Valsecchi as third and Nicolas Prost as a bonus development driver.

  • 21:37

    A bit more from James Allison, without actually saying anything at all: "The front and rear suspension layouts are substantially revised to try and give us better aerodynamic opportunities. The front wing is a continuation of the concepts we have worked on since the 2009 rules were published. For the rear wing system, we’ve continued to try to work on having a satisfactory level of rear downforce stability whilst having maximum DRS switching potential."

  • 21:38

    The launch summed up in 60 seconds:

All content in the series 2013 F1 launches