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Half-time balance Lotus: Only one win is missing

Lotus mid-term review
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E ines became clear to the last doubter after eleven races. The successes of the Lotus E20 are not a flash in the pan. With 192 points, the Enstone team is third in the constructors' championship. One point behind McLaren. Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean have already finished on the podium eight times. Only McLaren can boast such a record. The only thing missing, fortunately, is a win. In Bahrain and Budapest, the Lotus pilots have come pretty close to achieving great success. The conditions were similar in both races. It was hot.

The greatest strength of the lotus is also its greatest weakness. It is gentle on the tires, but it takes too long to get them up to operating temperature. That's why they always hope for tropical temperatures at Lotus. 'We have to put an end to this dependence on the weather,' demands Romain Grosjean. The front wing family that debuted in Valencia helps a little with that. This wing type and its derivatives reduce understeer in the middle of the curve.

Grosjean faulty, Raikkonen with world champion potential

If Lotus has not yet won the race, it is almost always due to the training results. And where Grosjean or Räikkönen were far ahead on the grid, something else went wrong. The start, the starting lap or one of the pit stops. Grosjean was involved in a collision on the first lap in six of eleven races and either dropped out entirely or caught a graze that affected the car's aerodynamics. That's why the Frenchman is too far behind in the World Cup to be able to dream of the title. His antics are also responsible for the fact that Lotus, with 5,704 kilometers of racing, only ranks ninth in the reliability table.

Raikkonen is exactly the opposite. Nothing upsets the Finns. Like Alonso, he can assess what is possible and what is not. The 2007 world champion has not made any mistakes so far. He only crossed the finish line once outside of the points. The team was to blame. The command post let Raikkonen in Shanghai drive too long with old tires. So they completely collapsed, Raikkonen lost twelve positions within a few laps. Raikkonen can definitely become world champions. If Lotus manages to find the right compromise with tire management.

Lotus is working on the Super-DRS

Adrian Newey had a good nose. He already praised the Lotus E20, since he had only seen it in pictures. It is a no-frills and compact car that shines less with technical tricks than with the perfect implementation of traditional values. 'Last year we tried a revolution and fell on the nose with it. The current car celebrates 1,000 small victories over its predecessor, 'says Technical Director James Allison, describing his product. The top speeds speak for its construction. The Lotus is always one of the fastest cars on the straights, but does not lose any time in the corners. This is called aerodynamic Efficiency.

For the former Ferrari engineer Allison, the rule change in the area of ​​exhaust came just as it was called: 'It has set the clock back to zero, so to speak. The mistake that happened to us last year with the exhaust is therefore irrelevant: “The Lotus E20 is a simpler car.” Not because someone told us we had to build a conservative car. The fact that no spectacular detail has been found on the car so far is due to the fact that we couldn't think of anything extraordinary at the moment within the framework of the rules. '

That could change. Lotus is currently experimenting with a system that works in the Technical jargon is called Super-DRS. In normal operation, air blows through an opening in the airbox onto the lower rear wing element and thus supports the suction effect of the diffuser. If the driver press the DRS button, this flow is disturbed by air from a second channel. The entry holes lie in the end plates as in the Mercedes and are normally covered by the rear wing flap. They feed a channel that goes through the rear wing main leaf into a central support that is connected to the other channel. If the flap folds up, the effect is double. Above by the flat flap, below by the disturbed flow. The trick is to celebrate its premiere in Spa.

Team owner Gérard Lopez leads the increase Compared to the previous year, the fact that the wind tunnel delivers reusable figures. 'In 2011 we had a problem with the correlation between the wind tunnel and the track, which was due to the fact that we had increased the scale of the models from 50 to 60 percent in the previous winter. In addition, the Pirelli wind tunnel tires did not work for us.' The goal is ambitious: 'We have planned 22 development steps this year. Last year there were 19, but only a third actually brought progress.' The world title was actually only planned for 2014, but it looks like Lotus could shorten the way there by at least a year. 'To do this we have to win a race', demands Raikkonen. The ex-champion has long since met his target: 'It went better than I could have expected.'

Statistics


World Cup place: 3 (Räikkönen P5, Grosjean P8)
World Cup points: 192
Wins: 0
Pole positions: 0
fastest race lap: 3
podium positions: 8
points positions: 16
race kilometers: 5704.1 km (P9)
lead kilometers: 54.1 km (6)
Target arrivals /cancellations: 18/4

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