Formula 1 – Lotus 2013 Cars and drivers 0

You know the F1 break is almost over when the top teams in the sport unveil their cars.  With very few and minor regulation changes all us fans didn’t expect drastic cosmetic changes to the cars but still all of us have been highly anticipating seeing 2013’s challengers.

New Car

Lotus were the first to show their new car off to the world, presented online and on Britain’s major sports news channel by Sky F1’s Craig Slater this is a blog of my thoughts on the Enstone teams new E21.

Lotus E21The two Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean removed the sheet to show the world the first glimpse of a 2013 spec F1 car. Lotus are renowned by the fans to be the most socially active in terms of contact with fans with them regularly connecting with fans via Twitter and Facebook,  keeping to their roots of their weekly Twitter ‘Hash tag’ on race weekends their hash tag for the car launch was printed onto the E21. The hash tag pretty much summed up what every F1 fans first reaction to the car was ‘#ImSexyAndIKnowIt‘. The car looked stunning, very minor but noticeable changes to the livery and what looked like a new spec front wing. Fans across the world all joined in on their thoughts of the E21 by using the hash tag and the majority was amazed and upbeat about the look of the new car.

But a small minority felt that the designers should have addressed the stepped nose (A safety regulation introduced to the sport in 2012). Craig Slater asked Technical director of  the Lotus F1 Team James Allison about the stepped nose and why have Lotus not used a cosmetic panel to smoothen out the look of the nose. The regulations for 2013 allows a panel to be placed onto the nose to improve the look of the cars front nose, he replied “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. 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.” Many more F1 cars are expected to follow suit regarding the stepped nose as all the teams strive to gain every gram of downforce they can to their cars. The teams are not to bothered about the cars looks, they just want to create a car what is as fast as the regulations allow.

The Drivers

Lotus didn’t make any changes to their driver line up over the winter break as they felt no need to. Lotus said their trump card is that they feel they have the best drivers for the job. James Allison told Autosport magazine “By far and away the biggest trump card we have to play this year is that we have got two drivers who start the year [in strong shape],”. I have to agree with James, Lotus in my opinion have the best driver line up on the grid. The young, talented lightning fast Romain Grosjean with the old experience head of the 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.  Both drivers have come under a lot of scrutiny in their short time with the Enstone based team but when it comes down to talent and raw speed these two on their day are untouchable. Lotus also reviled their new 3rd driver to the team Davide Valsecchi. Valsecchi who won the highly competitive GP2 series in 2012 is a driver who has shown a lot of promise in the lower Formulas said “I’m really happy that the team want me to be with them and I’m excited about the future. I hope that this is a really good start to a career in F1.

“My last year in GP2 in 2012 was something I really focused on and in the end I succeeded. Now, in Formula 1, my target will be a little different but my focus to do the very best job is still the same.”. I have high hopes for Valsecchi going by what I have seen in the lower formulas and I really think he can push for a drive coming into the 2014 season. This year will be a valuable year in terms of experience working alongside Kimi and Romain testing new parts in the simulator, I’m sure very soon he will get his shot at being a F1 driver.