The new Lotus E20 unveiled online

The Lotus E20, the Enstone-based team’s 2012 Formula One challenger, has been revealed via an online event broadcast on the team’s website and YouTube channel.

The team, which competed as Renault last year has changed its identity and will be going into its first season with full Lotus branding.

The E20 is outwardly one of the more traditional designs unveiled so far, though it features the stepped nose design now commonplace, and reverts to a traditional exhaust layout – as mandated by the 2012 regulations – after last year’s experiment with a forward exiting exhaust. Team boss Eric Boullier hinted that the design featured plenty of subtle innovations.

“It’s true that the team’s reputation is good in terms of innovation and we brought through the last years some nice ones, and let’s say some more delicate ones, but definitely we have some this year,” he said.

The car is the first to be entered by the ex-Renault team under the Lotus title after the end of the branding dispute with rival team owner Tony Fernandes, whose erstwhile Lotus squad now runs as Caterham.

The E20 keeps the traditional black and gold colours used by the original Team Lotus team in the 1970s and 80s, and features prominent new sponsorship from Unilever brands Rexona and Clear.

Lotus has enticed 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen back to Formula One this year, with former test driver Romain Grosjean promoted to the second race seat alongside the Iceman after claiming last year’s GP2 title.

Boullier said the priority was to bring a winning spirit back to Enstone, which had claimed championships in its Benetton and Renault eras, most recently in 2006 with Fernando Alonso.

“My biggest hope is obviously to bring this positivity back again and to make sure this team is again at the front of the grid and for many years and a long time,” said Boullier.

“Also, to have all the people in Enstone enjoying life here and enjoying their passion for motor racing and F1.

“The fear is that we can have anything wrong which you cannot expect or handle and which would slow down this process.”

Lotus were known to have been working on a reactive ride height system for the E20, which they tested on its predecessor in Abu Dhabi late last year. However the sport’s governing body banned the system last month.

Video of the Lotus E20 launch:

5 thoughts to “The new Lotus E20 unveiled online”

  1. Lotus team co-owner Gerard Lopez believes getting back into the top four in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship is a realistic initial step for the squad in 2012.

    The Enstone-based team was fifth in the standings for the past two years under its former Renault guise, having slumped to eighth in 2009. Prior to that, it had been in the top four for seven straight seasons, winning the ’05 and ’06 titles.

    The team had high hopes for last year, but its radical exhaust concept did not work and lead driver Robert Kubica suffered horrific injuries in a pre-season rally crash.

    Lopez said he hoped the team could make up for the false start of 2011 and start making progress with the E20, which will be driven by F1 returnees Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

    “The hopes are to be able to get one season together and do what we were expecting last year,” he said.

    “We hope to have a strong car, and have strong drivers, one of which is of course an ex-world champion. We hope to bring the car up to the front of the pack and probably try to aim for fourth as a reasonable goal for this season.”

    The car is the first from the Enstone team to bear the full Lotus name after the end of the dispute over the use of the brand in F1.

    “We’re obviously extremely proud that finally the Lotus name is a clear concept for everybody in Formula 1 now,” Lopez added.


  2. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen is adamant Lotus can build a race-winning Formula One car. has the story.

    Kimi Raikkonen is adamant Lotus is capable of building a winning car, as the team unveiled its 2012 challenger to the public on Sunday.

    The Finn, the 2007 world champion with Ferrari, is returning to grand prix racing with Lotus after having left the sport at the end of 2009 to compete in the World Rally Championship.

    Lotus, racing under the Renault name until last year, won its last race in the 2008 season with Fernando Alonso and has struggled to be competitive since.

    Raikkonen is confident, however, that the team has what it takes to return to winning ways.

    “I think these people know how to build a good car, and even the biggest teams cannot produce a winning car every year,” said Raikkonen during the launch of the E20.

    “They are very capable people and they have a good feeling about things and they’re pushing hard so hopefully we will get good results.”

    The former world champion said he is not nervous about his return to racing despite an absence of over two years.

    “Not really,” said Raikkonen, who drove a two-year-old car last month in preparation for his return. “It will be something slightly different to what it used to be when I was in Formula 1 before – with a different team and different regulations, but everybody’s different. For some people it’s more difficult to get used to new stuff.

    “And it depends a lot on the car – if you have a good car it makes your life easier than if you have an average car. I was pretty happy after the first test we did two weeks ago. It felt pretty normal already.

    “I think it will be okay but before the first race it’s really difficult to say still. We’ll wait and see but I’m happy with how everything is going.”

    Raikkonen will be partnered by GP2 champion Romain Grosjean, who is making a comeback to Formula 1 after a short stint with the team in 2009.

    The Frenchman says he is feeling upbeat ahead of his first full season with the team.

    “2011 was a fantastic season for myself with the GP2 title and the Friday morning in the car and all the time at the track with the team as the third driver,” Grosjean said. “I’m feeling quite good for the season. I’m very proud to be chosen as one of the drivers.

    “So far I’ve a little bit more knowledge about the Pirelli tyres but I think I will be able to get a lot from him. We need to work to bring the team as far forward as possible, which is our main goal. I’m very happy to be alongside him.

    “We are all expecting a lot from this year. I’ve seen the car almost from the beginning to the end of the building, and we’re all expectant to see the car on track and after the first four days of testing we will have a good idea of how the season will be.”

  3. Lotus new signing Kimi Raikkonen says motivation has never been an issue for him in Formula One. has the details.

    Kimi Raikkonen insists motivation has never been an issue for him, and reckons he drove some of his best races during his last year in Formula 1.

    Raikkonen left the sport at the end of a difficult 2009 season and spent two years in the World Rally Championship.

    The Finn is now returning to Formula 1 with Lotus, and says people questioning his motivation are simply wrong.

    “There’s always talk about my motivation, written by people who don’t know me and couldn’t have an idea on how strong my motivation is,” said Raikkonen as his team unveiled its 2012 car.

    “If I didn’t feel I had the motivation, I would stop. My feeling is that I probably drove some of my best races in my last season in Formula 1 and I was very happy with my performance.

    “I’ve never had any issues with motivation.”

    Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, says he is not feeling pressure to win again as long as he feels he is giving his very best.

    “I think people expect things from me, but as long as I know that I’m giving 100 per cent and I’m happy with my driving then I’m happy,” he said. “If those aspects are true and it’s not enough, then it’s not enough.”

    The Finn will start testing Lotus’s new car on Tuesday at Jerez.

    Q&A with Raikkonen:

  4. Lotus team boss Eric Boullier says 2012 will still be a year of adjustment for the outfit, with 2013 the first season when it will be fully operational.

    The team has undergone several changes, including a new ownership, over the last year and faces 2012 with relatively modest goals after a difficult 2011.

    Racing under the Renault name, the team finished in fifth place in the standings last year, and Boullier wants to go one better in the upcoming season.

    “Obviously 2012 is very welcome after a poor 2011 and very hectic year,” said Boullier. “It’s clear we’ve maintained our ambition on track and we want to carry on the full restructuring, progress and change that we started one year ago. We now have a clear target.

    “We know that we have a strong commitment from our shareholders, that we want to be a top team and seen as a top team. 2012 will be the year of our final adjustment to be ready and fully operational from 2013 with an ambitious plan.

    “For 2012 we expect to be in a position to fight for fourth place for the championship.”

    He added: “We have conducted a very long and deep process since 2010. You cannot return to being world champion in one day or one month. You need time.

    “We had a complete review of our process and structure. 2012 will be the final step towards building a winning and ambitious team, as I’ve said before; a clear target for 2012 and also after 2014.”

    Boullier also reckons having signed Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean shows how eager the team is to return to winning ways as soon as possible.

    “I think our driver line-up reflects the ambition of this company and this team,” he said. “It is clear that to have Kimi back on track – on top of being a nice media and PR action – we need a driver of the calibre of Kimi to be able to fight for the top positions.

    “It is also good to have Romain joining us because he has clearly demonstrated his value, talent and speed over the last 18 months. He is definitely now mature and ready. He is good for the French market, for Total and for Renault. It’s good to see him with us. He is our future.”


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