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JANUARY 28, 2013

Lotus E21 launch

Lotus became the first formula 1 team to launch their 2013 chassis when they unveiled the Lotus E21-Renault this evening in a live event streamed to Youtube, from the team's headquarters in Enstone.

The E21 chassis is very similar to last years E20, and retains the step-nose design. Although the rule changes have allowed a vanity cover to smooth the step, the team decided they did not want to add the weight of it to the car - especially high up on the nose. The car also features exhaust exits similar to the 2012 Championship winning Red Bull RB8.

The sidepods of the car carried the Genii logos at the launch, and the team didn't announce any title sponsor. Rumours have it that negotiations are said to be on-going with the U.S. firm Honeywell.

Technical Director James Allison said, "The E20 proved itself to be an effective racing car “ particularly towards the end of last season “ so there is an element of expectation from the E21 and plenty to build upon. We have continued with our design themes and tried to create a more efficient and faster racing car based on all the lessons we learnt last year. How successful we have been in this task will only be discovered when we take to the track at the winter tests and “ more significantly “ at Grands Prix."

Team Principal, Eric Boullier said, "I think it is fair to say that great things are possible from the team and the E21. The leap we made from 2011 to 2012 showed what we are capable of. Add to this the continuity and potential of our driver line-up and we have a very powerful cocktail for the season ahead. Our ambitious plan to turn ourselves into one of the top teams in Formula 1 is coming to fruition and now we need to harness this with strong and regular podium results."

2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen said, "Of course, I™ve not driven the E21 yet so it™s difficult to say what could or could not be possible for the year ahead. We know we had a good car last season, but everyone is working hard to make the best package. I will be working with the team to help get the car as strong as we can, then in Melbourne we™ll have our first taste of results. It™s a long season from there. 2012 was a good start; let™s see what we can do in 2013."

His team mate Romain Grosjean said, "I can clearly say I want to score a lot of points for the team “ everybody knows that “ but I think it would be wrong for me to say I want to finish in a particular position in the championship. I really want to jump out of the car as many times as possible thinking that I did a good job. Knowing that everything I could do, I did, and feeling proud of my race or session. I hope to feel that way as many times as possible this year."

Jerome D'Ambrosio will stay on this season as Reserve Driver, while last years GP2 Champion Davide Valsecchi joins the team as the Third Driver, and Nicolas Prost will be a development driver for the team.

Lotus won the Abu Dhabi this fall with Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel, the team's first win since 2008, in its former incarnation as the Renault team, when Fernando Alonso won the Japanese GP that year.

On the livery at the launch the car had the twitter hashtag #ImSexyAndIKnowIt next the the cockpit.