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Lotus promises 'massive step forward' as it gives a glimpse of 2015 car

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Lotus promises 'massive step forward' as it gives a glimpse of 2015 car
Jan 26, 2015, 3:51 PM

Lotus have become the latest team to provide a sneak preview of their 2015 car with the release of some renders of the E23 car that the team  ho...

Lotus have become the latest team to provide a sneak preview of their 2015 car with the release of some renders of the E23 car that the team  hopes will lift them from the eighth-place to which they slumped in the 2014 Constructors' Championship back to the dizzy heights of the fourth place achieved in 2013.

Meanwhile newly announced reserve driver Jolyon Palmer has revealed that the opportunity to do "significant" mileage in the Lotus F1 car this year in tests and Friday practice sessions was the driver for him signing with the team.

And according to Tehnical Director Nick Chester the new car represents "a massive step forward" for the Enstone squad.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 14.48.35

“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," he said. "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," added Chester, acknowledging the switch from Renault power to the dominant force of 2014, Mercedes. "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."

Chester also said that part of the team's lack of performance last year stemmed from the mid-season outlawing of FRIC suspension systems and the Lotus technical chief said the team has designed a wholly new system instead of adapting the existing system to rewritten regulations.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 14.48.23

"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," he said. "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.”

Lotus CEO Matthew Carter suggested that the new car will "enable a huge leap forward".

"The E23 Hybrid represents a new era for Lotus, not only in the change to a Mercedes Benz power unit, but also it is the fruition of a busy winter behind the scenes," he said. "Improvements within our design, aero and simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward.

"As a team we are confident that the new car coupled with additions to the race team will enable a huge leap forward and we are full of optimism going into the new season. It is time to put the disappointment of last season behind us and benefit from 12 months of hard work; we are ready to return to our rightful place at the pinnacle of the sport."

Jolyon Palmer said that with only 9 teams on the grid and limited testing days, the Lotus drive gave him the best chance to make himself attractive to F1 teams for 2016 by getting current track experience,

"That was the most important part of getting a deal together, because track time is so difficult to come by with nine teams and one car per test day," Palmer told F1.com.

"The number of people who have got relevant track time in a current F1 car is not high, so to secure that was definitely the best thing I could do. But I'll also be totally involved in a race weekend - I'll be in debriefs, talks with the engineers, team meetings and so on. Everything goes towards a better chance for the future really. Hopefully it will all make me a good candidate for a 2016 drive if opportunities come about."
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