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Lotus in Korea: DRS trick out, Coanda exhaust in

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L otus is on the defensive. The competition has clearly overtaken the black car since the summer break. The development has recently stalled noticeably. Kimi Räikkönen, who had long been promising in the world championship fight, has meanwhile lost contact with the top drivers in the drivers' standings.

But the team from Enstone wants to try a new attack in Korea. As the last car from the front line, the E20 is equipped with a so-called Coanda exhaust. The tailpipe ends in a curved duct that forces the hot exhaust gases to the underbody.

Lotus has to introduce Coanda exhaust

'We stood a bit with our performance-maximizing conventional exhaust alone in a wide hallway, 'admits Lotus technical director James Allison. 'Since the launch of the E20, we have always worked on a Coanda exhaust in parallel in the wind tunnel. When we saw that the Coanda exhaust was more useful than our existing system, it was clear that we had to introduce it.'

Most recently, Mercedes also gave up its conventional exhaust in Singapore in favor of a Coanda version. So far without much success. As with the Silver Arrows, the development of the new exhaust system is planned for the long term. 'It is useful for the last quarter of this year as well as for the next season,' says Allison.

Lotus with complete conversion in the rear

With the new exhaust, the Tailpipe diameter can be reduced in order to bring the flow to the desired location. That cost performance. If the system works, there is in return more downforce in the rear and better traction. However, it usually takes a couple of races for the exhaust gases to arrive exactly at the desired location via small fins.

'It's not as bad as with the direct-blown diffusers last year,' explains engineer Allison. 'But you have to change something in the rear: new panels, the new exhaust, the outlets and some heat protection on the underbody.' If the new parts don't work, you can quickly restore them.

Test of the DRS system stopped

Lotus cannot allow itself to be distracted when developing the Coanda exhaust. That's why they want to do without tests of the special double DRS system, which is supposed to bring more top speed on straights.

In Suzuka, the engineers hadHoped for a breakthrough at last, but the system also reduced downforce in places where the driver couldn't use it. 'The introduction was not exactly easy. It was harder than expected to get the Switch right with the short test time. We will now put it aside, think again and only bring it again to the Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi,' said Allison .

In our photo gallery we show you once again the different tailpipe variants of the twelve Formula 1 teams.

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