Lotus E22 makes first appearance at Bahrain

Lotus E22 track1

After releasing two render images of the E22 earlier this year, Lotus have publicly unveiled its 2014 challenger as the second pre-season test began at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Enstone team’s design is the last of the new generation of Formula 1 cars to breaking cover, following the decision to skip the first pre-season test in Jerez, Spain.

Romain Grosjean will shakedown the E22 on day one, though his team-mate Pastor Maldonado has already completed 100km of running in a demonstration run at Jerez earlier this month.

The E22 features an unusual ‘twin-tusk’ nose design that caused problems for the team in passing the mandatory front crash-tests as outlined by the FIA.

Despite that, the sport’s governing body is satisfied with the Enstone team’s interpretation of the regulations with the twin-tusk nose which features on their new E22.

Lotus E22 track2

Technical director Nick Chester said there were no legality concerns about the team’s unique approach to the 2014 rules.

“The nose certainly is quite interesting,” he said after the car ran in public for the first time in Bahrain. “We think it’s a nice solution and it’s quite innovative.”

“Naturally, as with any interpretation of new regulations, we’ve talked with the FIA to ensure that they are happy with the design. It’s nice to have something a little bit different and we’re happy with our path having seen what everyone else is doing with their cars in this area.”

Chester described the whole car as “an elegant solution for the 2014 regulations”. He said the radical change in regulations had led to the creation of a “completely new” car.

“There’s very little which could be carried across from previous cars. That said, in certain areas we’ve been able to follow the same philosophies such as in our approach to aerodynamics and suspension, where lessons learnt with previous cars have been highly relevant.”

Chester took over from James Allison as technical director last year. Lotus were the last team to put their 2014 car on-track but he remains confident about their new racer.

“Already Mercedes and Red Bull have interesting aspects to their cars, but looking at the E22 after seeing everyone else’s interpretations, we’re still very pleased with the direction we’ve taken and the hard work of everyone at Enstone really has created an elegant car.”

Former Caterham driver Charles Pic appeared alongside Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado at a presentation of the E22 in Bahrain, with the team confirming Pic as this year’s third (test) driver.

Lotus E22 drivers