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Video: Lotus chase 2 second gain from new Barcelona package
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Video: Lotus chase 2 second gain from new Barcelona package
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 May 2010   |  7:36 pm GMT  |  47 comments

Among the teams bringing updates to Barcelona the ones likely to make the biggest gain are the new teams – because they are coming from the furthest back.


In the case of Lotus their entry for 2010 was only accepted in September last year and they had one month to finalise the design before going into production, in order to make the pre-season tests.

They put out a fairly conservative car for the opening races, always aiming at a major upgrade package for Barcelona. And technical director Mike Gascoyne says that a gain of around 1.5 to 2 seconds per lap is what the simulations predict for their new package. This should mean that if they are able to get ahead of any of the established cars in the race they will be able to race them, rather than be repassed straight away.

Central to the new package is a sleek new front wing and in this video, which I shot last week at Lotus HQ in Norfolk, Gascoyne explains the process of designing, modelling and then building such this important new part.

He even gives JA on F1 readers a special talk-through of the new wing as it sits in the jig waiting to be bonded.

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47 Comments
  1. chris says:

    what a scoop on the new front wing. Very cool insight and very well produced. Bravo!

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    1. Dan says:

      And how gracious of Lotus to allow the outside world to have a peek at what is a very covert business!

      This is the kind of thing I was initially expecting of USF1, but it’s nice to see someone else saw some value in it…

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      1. Nadeem Zreikat says:

        I agree, every team should take a leaf out of Lotus for this insight.

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  2. Fufflevalve says:

    Great video and it will be good to see Lotus at least be on the pace of the back of the grid, which will make for a good base to build from.

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  3. Jason says:

    Great video James, many thanks! I hope to see more of these throughout the season.

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  4. hesus says:

    Great stuff!
    Figures look great (1,5s) but the reliability is the key.

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  5. Bill Day says:

    Really interesting to get behind the scenes like this. Thanks James!

    PS Was that a Lotus 33 or a 25?

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    1. Chris Neale says:

      It’s actually a Type 32B – produced for Jim Clark to race in Tasman races in mid 60’s by modifying the T32 F2 with a 2.5L 4 cylinder Coventry Climax engine – it has race in historic racing over the last few years and is looked after by Classic Team Lotus

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  6. Andy C says:

    I like the way they have conducted themselves so far and really wish them well. They are also very media friendly which can’t fail to help them win people over.

    They are bit embarrasing the lotus name that’s for certain. Solid car built to time, with developments to come. Best of luck to them.

    James,
    mike seems to be really enjoying the challenge at lotus. Free from the political wranglings at Toyota is when he’s at his best.

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  7. Andy Young says:

    Great piece James.

    Really miss your TV spots and commentary. I don’t mean to speak out of turn, but Jonothan Leggard just doesn’t quite cut it on TV, he was ok on 5 Live but for some reason he doesn’t mix well with Martin and he seems to have little insight, which is why I very much enjoy your blog.

    I’m an F1 geek, I love the sport and the technological side, I love the craftsmanship that goes into an F1 car design, and I enjoy seeing the cars tweaked and updated so this piece on Lotus was great.

    The front wing assembly was Brawn’s biggest trick at the start of 2009 rather than the diffuser in my opinion which was a good distraction for the other teams. It took Mclaren half a season to understand the outwash fuction of the new for 2009 front wings. Very clever. But then the F-Duct is even more clever!

    Great stuff thanks.

    Andy

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    1. richard hughes says:

      Plus 1

      would love to see you back on TV, but i’m guessing that we wouldnt have these fantastic features if that happened.

      great post – keep up the good work.

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    2. Andy C says:

      Indeed, its quite interesting to hear Martin when he is responding to Jonathan.

      Quite often he appears to dismiss Jonathans comments straight away. Always makes me chuckle. Sure he’s a decent guy though.

      Although I too would like to see James on the BBC team but that would only happen at end of year I’m sure.

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  8. Dave H. says:

    If the nosebox is an homologated item and unchangeable, how come Red Bull managed to change theirs halfway through last season?

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    1. David Turnedge says:

      I think they need to resubmit and get a new crash test… expensive…

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    2. Spark says:

      Hi Dave, as part of the cost reductions introduced for this year, the homologation only started as of this season. As far as I recall correctly, only the engine was homologated bar reliability issues. So last year they could change the nosebox as they wished.

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  9. jose arellano says:

    seems like mclaren is not the only place where heikki gets 2nd driver treatment!

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    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Mike simply commented on how good Jarno is at development, I don’t think that is slam on Heiki or makes him 2nd rate.

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    2. Robert in San Diego says:

      Actually I think they have Jarno for development and Heikki for speed. He has been the faster of the two.

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    3. James Allen says:

      Not at all. Gascoyne was merely making the point that Trulli has a lot of experience and feel. That doesn’t mean Kovalainen hasn’t nor that they don’t listen to him!

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  10. Steve Rogers says:

    A good little film – I could lap up hours of this stuff. I warm to Mr Gascoyne who seems such a sensible fellow. I would definitely buy him a pint if I met him.

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  11. smellyden says:

    Great stuff, keep the videos coming!

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  12. Frenchie says:

    Thanks for binging us another quality video and interview.

    I have been a Gascoygne fan since his Renault days. Although he has never designed a championship winning car, his expertise in bringing a backmarker closer to the front is amazing.

    He is quite funny when he refers to having no other choice than hiring experienced drivers. It is beggars belief HRT didn’t sign someone like Klien earlier on to give a sense of direction for the development of their car.

    His (and Tony Fernandes’) media friendly attitude has won me over and really hope they’ll score a point this year, hopefully in Singapore with a fairly local crowd.

    You can tell he is happy to be leading the Lotus racing charge. I hope the same will be said of Trulli and Kovy from Spain onwards.

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  13. Hyperion says:

    Fantastic video again James- it’s great to see you in action on screen.

    Another great insight into the world of Formula 1!

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  14. Dirty Scarab says:

    That’s a much nicer looking front wing. Very Mclaren-esque.

    Thanks for the insightful vid James and I’ll second Andy Young’s comments above about missing you on the Telly.

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  15. Snowy says:

    Really great stuff James. More of this through the season please.

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  16. Darren says:

    lotus will win races in 2012.

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  17. miko says:

    Once again, fantastic insight from the Lotus Team. In between Mike Gascoyne’s twitter, the team twitter and features like these, Lotus are certainly gaining fans fast!

    Agree with Andy C that Mike seems happier with more freedom; Heikki seems to be enjoying himself too! It’s refreshing to see such smiles on the grid

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  18. norman says:

    this should’ve been USF1.. sad sad sob

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  19. David Turnedge says:

    Fantastic! Just goes to show (albeit Lotus is a small team) behind the scenes it’s the team building racing cars in a shed… fantastic behind the scenes stuff… especially considering the lack of detail we see behind the scenes in somewhere like Australia.

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  20. JohnBt says:

    Simple and clear information on video. Nice one James. Looks like there’ll be more coming for sure.

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  21. Peter Jones says:

    Excellent video. It really is refreshing to see how honest and open Lotus have been in their interviews. I hope it won’t be too much longer before they’re competing with the Toros.
    Does anyone know if they had enough time to upgrade both cars for this weekend?

    And do people have a feeling about how much speed they’re losing because of the Cosworth engine? I know we’ve got the Williams as a high water mark, but they look to be having design problems of their own at the moment so it’s still not obvious how much potential is there.

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  22. Steve says:

    excellent video.
    more please.

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  23. Syed says:

    Great video James, many many thanks! I hope to see more of these throughout the season. Clever thinking!!

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  24. AMSG says:

    James, well done to you and Lotus for really giving us an insight into how F1 teams tick.
    It certainly does make me warm to Mike rather just read reports about him being a tyrant in the past.

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  25. Stu says:

    Excellent stuff James, I really like getting extra little insights into the sport I love like this.

    Keep it up and look forward to more!

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  26. Spark says:

    It is just really great how open the Lotus team has been up till now. I mean, they use all kinds of media to inform followers and fans. They may be not the fastest team, but they sure understand how to treat the fans.

    I just hope that they will continue these kind of infosessions once they will be knocking on the door for points, podiums and even wins.

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  27. cmills2000 says:

    Really appreciate the work James. Insightful and interesting video. This site is an excellent resource on F1 as the season goes on.

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  28. DOm says:

    I was really unsure about these guys taking the lotus name but ive really warmed to them now. Plucky little brits!

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  29. Neal Rayner says:

    Great stuff !

    I love having the new teams in with a refreshing attitude to the media and hence us information hungry fans.

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  30. PaulL says:

    They should have found those 2 seconds before the season start!

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  31. Tom says:

    Well done to everyone involved. Enjoyable and very clear – excellent communication all round.

    But will that new front wing reduce the wake for following cars as well, and make the Lotus easier to overtake?

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  32. Alam Z says:

    I am definatlty supporting team lotus! I like the whole ethos around the team.

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  33. Jon says:

    Great video, it would be great to see Lotus close the gap to the midfield and possibly challenge for a couple of points later in the season.

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  34. jonrob says:

    Excellent piece James.
    Is there any input from Hethel at all? Seeing as it’s just a few miles up the road.
    Any chance of you doing a series of these which can be edited together to form a season review as an ITV prog or a DVD for us.

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  35. Malcolm46 says:

    Great video thanks James, keep them coming!!

    Fair do’s to Gascoyne and Lotus too, top bloke.

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  36. Kenny says:

    Great video again. Also emphasises actually how well planned the Lotus team actually is with the whole development and organisation of everything.
    The “new” Lotus team are doing a great job and best of luck to them in the Spanish GP.

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  37. Michael P says:

    Another just outstanding update James. Best blog in the universe. Thank you! Cheers

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