The Lotus F1 team presented its 2015 challenger, the E23 Hybrid, the successor to the E22. The 2015 racer features a Power Unit from new supplier Mercedes Benz in place of the E22’s Renault unit. (Earlier post.) Improvements within Design, Aero and Simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward, according to Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO.
|E23 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
The E23 Hybrid represents a massive step forward for us. 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. We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor. In terms of what’s new, obviously a massive change for us is a new Power Unit supplier. We made this change as it looked and looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain. It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too.
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. In terms of the suspension, we were delivered something of a blow last year when the front-rear interconnected suspension was outlawed mid-season. The E23’s suspension design is specific to the updated regulations so we’re not trying to update a system originally intended to work a different way. We learnt a lot in many areas of the car over the course of 2014 so there are many lessons which have been applied. We know we’ve made a big step. We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.—Nick Chester, Lotus F1 Team Technical Director