Lotus has become the first Formula One team to unveil its race car for the 2013 season, the E21.
The new E21 may look similar to last year’s successful E20, but changes were made in the off-season in order to comply with the new Formula One rules for the 2013 race season. One of those major rule changes for 2013 was that teams are now able to use a “vanity panel” to cover up the ugly steps on the top of the noses of the race cars. But Lotus hasn’t made the change with the cosmetic panel yet, though it has refined the nose area of the race car.
“We have not done it yet because the cosmetic panel would weigh a few grams and with a Formula 1 car putting a few grams on that you don’t need to is anathema,” said technical director James Allison. “But if we find a cosmetic panel that looks nice but much more importantly and crucially gains us a bit of downforce we’ll pop it on quick as you like.”
One obvious change to the race car however is the new design which implements the exhausts on the vehicle for aerodynamics. Helping create additional downforce, the bodywork of the race car actually help guide the gases down to where the rear floor meets the rear wheels. It’s a design that is similar to what was found on the championship-winning 2012 Red Bull race car.
Kimi Raikkonen will once again be behind the wheel alongside teammate Romain Grosjean while Jerome D’Ambrosio will continue as the reserve driver on the team. Davide Valsecchi, reigning GP2 series champion, will be joining as the third driver and Nicolas Prost will handle development driver duties.
GALLERY: Lotus E21 Formula One Race Car
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