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Lotus reveal their 2014 challenger – the E22 – with two-pronged nose
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Posted By: Editor   |  24 Jan 2014   |  7:09 pm GMT  |  99 comments

Lotus have revealed images of their 2014 challenger – the E22 – just hours after announcing the Gerard Lopez would replace Eric Boullier  as team principal.

The Enstone-based team had a strong season last year, winning the first race with Kimi Raikkonen and going on to finish fourth in the constructors’ championship.

They have also struggled financially, with Lopez saying the team had over $100m of debts while several people have left the team.

However, Romain Grosjean and new team-mate Pastor Maldonado will b hoping they can challenge for race wins and the championship in the striking E22.

While McLaren and Williams have chosen a single, narrow “proboscis” nose, Lotus have gone for a two-pronged solution which has a gap to allow airflow through.

The livery is similar, with black, gold and red the predominant colours while there is the clear addition of sponsor PDVSA, which is the Venezuelan oil company who were brought to the team by Maldonado.

Grosjean and Maldonado will have to wait to get behind the wheel of the car, though, as the team have decided to skip the first pre-season test in Jerez, which starts on Tuesday, so they can have more time to work on it.

Instead, they are planning on make their debut at the second test which takes place in Bahrain next month.

Ferrari are set to launch their car online on Saturday, with Sauber following suit on Sunday.

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99 Comments
  1. Calvin says:

    I am curious what the technical explanation is behind the asymmetrical nose…

    1. Spyros says:

      The rules say that there should be only one crash structure up front… or something to that effect. So Lotus put one of the extensions slightly further back, so that only the other one is considered to be the crash structure.

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      …double strength, for Maldonado perchance?

      1. Pete says:

        haha, nice!

      2. Jose Sanchez says:

        Lethal weapon for mldonado i would say.

    3. aezy_doc says:

      It’s to help them on anti-clockwise tracks. On clockwise ones, the other prong well be longer. Maybe.

      1. Robot_Ears says:

        Ding Ding Ding, Not only this, but is it possible that they are 1/2ing” the aerodynamic disadvantage of the new design

    4. BogRacer says:

      I don’t believe there to be any performance incentive for the asymmetrical nose. The regulations state that there can only be 1 “nose” with a single continuous 9000mm2 surface. The longer prong on the Lotus solution acts as such. In order to proceed with front end concept, the 2nd prong is required to be shorter to not be considered also part of the ‘nose’, which would circumvent the single continuous 9000mm2 nose surface requirement. The second, shorter prong, in essence, is considered simply as an element of the nosecone assembly, which is unregulated in its shape. Interesting solution by the Lotus engineers.

    5. Possibly to become known as the “Picklefork Resolution” — do ya suppose?

      1. Mitchel says:

        Good call. +1

    6. Richard says:

      I am a bit surprised at this design as they have created more surface area in the twin prong than a single nose structure and also an eddy effect in between which may be a negative in terms of drag. After I’ve said that it will probably turn out to be the fastest car…….

  2. DB says:

    Are the pronges asymmetrical?!

    1. Lee says:

      Yes, the official F1 website has an overhead view. What’s the betting that it will have a nose that looks like all the others by the time they get to Europe?

    2. Lee says:

      Apparently they are like this to meet the regulation requiring a single pointed nose.

  3. FerrariFan says:

    Hi James,
    Can they alter the asymmetry of the nose to suit different grand prix tracks ?

    The cars are really awful so far. I hope the Ferrari is at least aesthetically pleasing.

    1. Timp says:

      Just saw the 1st images of the Ferrari. Sorry.

      1. FerrariFan says:

        I agree its the worst so far. I feel sorry for all the drivers who are going to parade around the world on these ugly cars. I now think the 2012 step nosed cars were far better. Some credit should be given to whichever team that comes out with the most pleasing design, like the Mclaren of 2012. But I am losing hope that will happen this year.

        While I support function over form arguments, these cars are a step too far.

      2. Bavman says:

        Just like previous years (stepped noses etc) …. we won’t even notice at race speeds. a fast car will be considered good looking.the worst change was narrowing the cars just beating out Grooves in the tyres.

    2. James Clayton says:

      Bad luck! :)

  4. Paul D says:

    I hate this interpretation. Looks awful.

    Thought it was a cheap trick to publish the photo at the same time as Mclaren’s launch (following the Boullier news).

    Also the teams twitter is deeply unprofessional.

    Apart from that, a good day for Lotus.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      So only McLaren were allowed to display their car today? who made up that rule?

      Plus, you’re wrong, the Lotus looks way nicer.

      1. Paul D says:

        It clearly wasn’t a planned release and they decided to chuck out a photo at noon to try and deflect from Mclaren just because their boss has decided to move on to join Mclaren…

        They are a World Championship winning team with great history and should be better than stunts like that. It just made them look bitter and I felt a bit embarrassed for them today.

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        “It clearly wasn’t a planned release and they decided to chuck out a photo at noon to try and deflect from Mclaren”

        Who told you that?

    2. Andy says:

      I don’t see anything wrong in when they published photo’s of their car, but I totally agree with you about their Twitter feed, it was childish in my view.

      1. Kamui Fan says:

        It’s social media. If it’s not fun you shouldn’t be doing. Lotus seem to have one the best social teams goings. Much more human than McLaren’s offering.

      2. Davin says:

        I’d agree that Lotus has more of a human feel than most other teams, who are just blasting out PR messages.

        Sometimes the team crosses the line with stuff that is a bit too immature for social media business, but still, it keeps the team in the spotlight.

        I mostly like that 99.95 of the people who I see complain about Lotus’ social media usage, don’t use it much themselves…or are really old. (Yeah, I said it.)

      3. Paul D says:

        They’re like the kid that was funny one time at school, and spent the rest of their life trying to live up to that moment again.

      4. Andy says:

        I don’t follow their Twitter feed, but I agree that it should still have an element of fun.
        Lotus were clearly unhappy with Boullier leaving and it seems they were caught by surprise, hence the piss taking.

        Really old? go on, put a number on it.

      5. AndyK says:

        I like a bit of banter back and forth. I think it’s all tongue in cheek but even if it’s not. I’m all for it.

    3. Lee says:

      Unprofessional? It’s witty, doesn’t take itself too serious and funny – take note.

      1. Paul D says:

        I’m all for a more relaxed style, and it was a breath of fresh air initially, but today was far too childish and petty for a professional F1 team, particularly that 50 shades of grey tweet regarding Bouiller.

    4. Elie says:

      I like the E22- ok the nose is not asymmetrical still looks good -the concept is very clever and I think it gives engineers many options either side and below the tips. Also the rest of the car looks fabulous and in proportion. The mclaren has bulges everywhere and the nose is shocking !

  5. Seán Craddock says:

    I’m curious as to how safe the design is. What if something were to get stuck in between the ‘prongs’?

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Like what? And how would it be unsafe?

      1. Random 79 says:

        If there’s any one driver that can find out it’s our man Maldonado :)

    2. Martin says:

      As with anything that could get stuck in or under a front wing on any car there the potential loss of downforce.

      If it was hitting the rear of the car in front as that car was turning into a tight hairpin then it would be a case of the yield strength and rigidity of the bits involved as to which would snap first.

  6. Justin says:

    Regs require one nose tip with a specific cross-sectional area. By offsetting the ends of the tusks they technically only have one tip, the longer one.

  7. Gary says:

    The FIA could solve two problems – ugly cars and over reliance on aerodynamics – with one small regulation change.
    Instead of requiring the nose of the car to be X inches above the ground, require the driver’s foot box to be Y inches above the ground.

    Two problems solved.

    1. Martin says:

      Driver comfort probably doesn’t come into the designers’ thinking too much, but by lowering the feet, the more comfortable position would be to increase the angle of the driver’s torso, which in turn would raise their head height a little and reduce the neck angle.

      Ignoring that aside, I think it would be a good change as it would flow through the entire aerodynamics of the car as the side pods would not be fed air in the same way and hence the upper surface of the diffuser too.

  8. Witan says:

    I really believe that if a car doesn’t look right it will be not be a hit: mind you it might not be a total failure either, perhaps proving to be merely a workmanlike proposal.

    This Lotus looks like a stranded platypus. I doubt it will propel Grosjean and Maldonado to anything but further ‘incidents’ as they struggle to control the beast.

  9. Martin (England) says:

    Have they got an engine deal yet ? and that is a bit strange having one prong longer than the other.

    1. yellowbelly says:

      Maybe they are trying to entice Yamaha to enter F1 as an engine supplier, with having the pitchfork nose.

      1. toleman fan says:

        History suggests that that may not be the best idea (tho’ it might help pay the bills).

  10. Joe B says:

    Easily the nicest looking front end so far.

    James, in the McLaren launch article you stated that Boullier had quit Lotus – has this been confirmed? If that’s the case (rather than him being fired) then I’d also expect to see him at Woking before too long.

    1. Lee says:

      Look at the Lotus twitter feed.

      1. Joe B says:

        I had a look but the only reference to Boullier was about 50 Shades of Grey…

      2. Lee says:

        Grey a colour associated with Ferrari, no Caterham, oh no……….

      3. DanT says:

        Check out the registration of McLaren’s corporate Jet :-)

        http://www.airliners.net/photo/0581591/L/

  11. james says:

    Yep….liking that one!

    Shall we call that the Predator nose ?

    or the “thing you use to repair pitchmarks on the green” nose?

    With what I have seen so far I prefer the new nose treatments to the step we had in 2012.

    1. Tim says:

      or the “thing you use to repair pitchmarks on the green” nose?….
      lol :-)

    2. Jeff says:

      perhaps ‘The Lotusk’ would be appropriate?

      1. Nick Barrett says:

        +1 million!

      2. Christos Pallis says:

        Love it the “Lotusks”

  12. michael grig says:

    they will not give it to you Calvin; anyway i find the “double fangs” more appealing than the “tongue” of Will & Mac;
    could Mr Lopez have the same (at least) impact on the final standing of Lotus ?!?!
    I wonder !!

  13. toleman fan says:

    James, any idea if Lotus still have the deal with burn for 2014? Can’t see it on the car from this angle (but it may be on the front wing).

    1. Timmay says:

      They sponsor Kimi, not Lotus

    2. j says:

      You can see the Burn logo in the overhead view. On the top of the chassis.

      1. toleman fan says:

        You’re right, thank you. Hadn’t seen the overhead shot.

  14. goferet says:

    Lol… Only the cheeky buggers at Lotus could have launched their car at exactly the same time as Mclaren and thus stealing some of the MP4-29 moment, all this after Mclaren nicked their team principal >>> brilliant launch battle!!!!

    No doubt, the working conditions at Lotus are so laid back and fun for I also recall the goodbye cartoon to Kimi last year.

    Now, on the new Lotus car, it looks quite similar to the 2013 car, of course with the exception of that unique nose.

    I don’t know if this is were the team miss Allison’s expertise because the new Lotus’ nose looks rather pointy and not elegant in design.

    But the one thing that’s becoming clear is that different teams are interpreting this part of the car differently and we may have a situation were all the cars have different designs.

    Anyway, the Grosjean/Maldonado partnership is another exciting prospect for the fans because we know both these fellas have incredible speed so we wait to see how their grid positions will affect the racing up front.

  15. Darren D says:

    Loving the fact that each of the cars have, so far, been very distinct from each other. As the regulations have tightened over the years there has been less opportunity to create visual distinction that the average guy like me can see without needing a technical briefing by an F1 engineer.

    Are they all beautiful? Perhaps not, but they do have a lot of character and will be fun to talk about.

    It will also be interesting to see whether any of these create enough of a performance difference that one concept becomes the one that teams eventually gravitate towards.

    Fun all around:-)

    1. James Clayton says:

      “Loving the fact that each of the cars have, so far, been very distinct from each other.”

      We’ll need to enjoy it while we can. For over the course of the next couple of years, if not by the end of this season, the engineers will most likely have figured out who’s really got things right and the cars will gradually gravitate towards a similar look.

      But yes, I also really like the fact that the cars look different. I wonder how many other designs we’ll see over the next few days! :)

  16. Jenks says:

    So, it says Renault on the side…
    Engine deal announced?

  17. Mark V says:

    Looks like shark claspers. So in other words, it fits right in with the apparent genitalia themed noses so far. I’m now expecting Chuck Barris of the Gong Show to show up at one of these car launches and give all of Formula 1 the gong for the abominable looking new cars. Sheesh.

  18. Ray Turner says:

    Interesting design, but looks dangerous to me.

    At some stage during the season a pit stop will go slightly wrong. Wouldn’t fancy my leg stuck in between those prongs if I were the man with the front jack…

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Prefer that than to be skewered by the proboscis on the front of the Williams.

  19. franed says:

    We need to see underneath the nose. Obviously this design is going to get airflow under the centre of the nose but how will it be controlled and will the pressure be lowered?

    So Eric to Macca, not sure what the majority of fans will feel about a Frenchman in charge there, its always been very British!

  20. Rich B says:

    looked great, then I saw the asymmetrical nose, shame.

  21. David in Sydney says:

    The nose is a taser to aid in passing… one spark and bam! Car ahead disable for a few minutes.

    1. toleman fan says:

      Focused-beam EMP weapons aren’t actually -banned- in the regs, are they?

  22. trigger says:

    With all this banter between McLaren & Lotus fans, it’s got to be said that of all the teams to ‘reveal’ their 2014 cars… only McLaren have shown us an actual car, as opposed to a computer generated image.
    And for the record, yes I am a McLaren fan.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      …and so far the McLaren is the worst looking of the bunch.

      1. toleman fan says:

        I have to say I think it looks pretty good, -except- from head on. Why they released that shot I can’t imagine. The grey paint job doesn’t help either – it looks awesome in the overhead shot with the Marlboro livery Photoshopped in.

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        I think the McLaren looks awful.

        But it is good that we don’t all like the same thing.

  23. unF1nnished business says:

    Kinda reminds me of Williams’ Walrus-nose FW26 from 2004.

    1. Paul D says:

      Yes – I’ve had the same thought today! Williams were 10 years ahead of their time!

      1. unF1nnished business says:

        Yes, or maybe they’ve never designed around the rules right for the last 10 years.

    2. Texas T says:

      my thought exactly – if I recall correctly the “walrus” handled very badly & was only used for 3 or 4 races before getting replaced.

      Hope Lotus have figured out what Williams could not.

      1. toleman fan says:

        Scalabroni says this one will be the same. He could well be right, although he seems awfully sure for someone with no access to any actual tunnel or CFD data. His point is it’ll be awful off axis – but AFAIK, they simulate that in the design process, so that should have been factored in…

  24. Albert Palmer says:

    Looking good! +1 to ‘the Fangs!’

  25. Bart says:

    I think it’s actually a great nose. One can plug McLaren’s nose into it…

  26. deancassady says:

    I like it, I’d be surprised if Red Bull don’t go this route, and though it may not hold up, I like this tricksy interpretation of the rules. ( tusks of unequal lenghths to get around the single tip provision in the rules – the longer tusk being the tip).
    It also looks much, much better than the other one that we’ve seen the front of.

    Most importantly, however, this seems like an aerodynamic coup, so much better than the single “proboscis” … finger (maybe Seb would prefer it!) It makes me laugh however, this moniker, “proboscis”, because… ITS THE TRUTH, it looks just like that, like a fly licking up… what ever lick up.

  27. McHarg123 says:

    Reminds me of the Williams from 2004. Much less appealing then the McLaren. I actually think the McLaren looks rather nice and aggressive!

  28. Sujith says:

    WOW!! Radical!!

    I like that Side pod design. I know the nose looks odd but hey!! This car looks awesome from the side :)

  29. Limelee says:

    What may seem like Hijinx over at Lotus had actually been a pretty convincing display of the use of propaganda as a means to build support. I for one was very bored at this years McLaren launch. A Video of Sam Michael interspersed with hand drawings talking pretend Ronspeak. Dull!!! Combine with pictures of a car which actually displays a level of innovation not present in te McLaren launch an also discrediting your former leader who appears to be going to Woking and in the space of 3 or 4 tweets, you have shown your competition to be bland and predictable and also made yourselves look like a team not afraid to express itself on and off track.

    On the subject of Boullier, he ha proven to be an excellent captain during tough times at Enstone and he will be a big loss. Compare his no nonsense approach with Whitmarshes more pragmatic view an you can see what the new McLaren is going to be about. No excuses anymore in Woking.

  30. fausta says:

    I like the spirit of the Lotus design. Can’t wait to see what the car actually looks like when it finally gets on track.

  31. JohnBt says:

    Mantle ray look, interesting compared to Williams. Look forward to the others and how different they will appear.

  32. Timmay says:

    I actually think more than one team may have thos solution – seems obvious to open the centre using walrus pylons, and its been done before

  33. Richard says:

    Bring back the 2012 step-nose!

  34. Craig in Manila says:

    Strangely, no indication of any signage for their new “partners” Saxo Bank.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      most likely ‘saxo’ bunk’

      1. Random 79 says:

        The sponsor formally known as Quantum ;)

  35. BrawnGP says:

    if Ron Dennis sees that asymmetrical nose it will flare up his OCD. But seriously does anyone else feel these might be dangerous if t boned into a competitors car?

  36. Adam Codony says:

    No “total” sponsorship?? What is Grosjean’s future now that his manager is out of the team?

    1. toleman fan says:

      I noticed that (eventually). Columbia Records (Sony Media Entertainment) have disappeared as well, draw your own conclusions.

      I don’t think that Grosjean’s drive much depends on either Boullier or his sponsors at this point, though. You really don’t think he’d find a drive on pure merit?

  37. MickeyRSA says:

    I read somewhere Lotus kept the sam downforce levels of 2013. Not sure where.. And THIS nose is why they didn’t pass the crash test.. Maybe they will pull a Brawn in 2009.. Brawn GP only came at the second test.. Right?

    1. toleman fan says:

      I’ll be -very- interested if you can find a source.

  38. Michael says:

    This is the ugliest so far! My god!

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Have you seen the McLaren? or the Ferrari? talk about ugly.

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