NOVEMBER 12, 2012
Power boost for Lotus in Austin
After taking its first grand prix win for four years with Kimi Raikkonen in Abu Dhabi, the Enstone, UK-based Lotus team is expecting to have more power for the first US Grand Prix to be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas this weekend.
Technical director James Allison explained: "Since we upgraded the car with the Coanda exhaust system in Korea, the E20 has actually been pretty decent. It maybe didn't look that way in Korea and India as we were trapped behind other people, but the pace of the car in the races has been strong.
"In Abu Dhabi, Kimi was making very confident sounding noises before the race as he was happy with the car. What we needed was an adequate result from qualifying to give us half a chance, then a good start, and we got both. It was the first time for a long time where we could run the car in free air near the front of the grid and, hey presto, we won the race.
"We are still experimenting with the latest evolution of our Coanda system. This delivers the same downforce as the one we introduces in Korea and used in the Abu Dhabi race, but does not sap as much power from the engine. We trialled this evolution in Abu Dhabi but opted to go for the known quantity of the Korea spec.
"No that we have the young driver test behind us, we are confident that this evolution will assist with around an extra 6bhp for the last two races of the season. We also have a small aero upgrade to the front wing."
Although providing additional downforce, especially in low and medium speed corners, the original Lotus Coanda exhaust was estimated to cost around 12-12bhp.