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Lotus upgrades 'the opening of a new era'

ESPN Staff
October 9, 2012 « Hamilton 'determined to fight' for Korea victory | Lotus to drop double-DRS 'device' until Abu Dhabi test »
Eric Boullier and James Allison are confident in the new Lotus upgrades © Sutton Images

Eric Boullier has described the Lotus upgrades for Korea - including a Coanda effect exhaust - as "the opening of a new era" for the team.

Having come very close to winning on numerous occasions earlier in the season, Lotus appears to have dropped off the pace since the mid-season break and has failed to challenge for the podium in the last three races. During that time the focus had been on a double-DRS device which has yet to be raced and has now been temporarily dropped, but Boullier is hopeful the Korea updates will see a big improvement in performance.

"Every time you bring new developments you hope that they will work as predicted," Boullier said. "The upgrades for Korea are a big step; it is the opening of a new era for us. We expect that they are going to work, but of course it's always a difficult task to find the correct setup for the car when you are also evaluating new parts. What happened with our "DDRS" shows that you can't take any improvement for granted until you actually measured it on the track. Let's say that we are cautiously optimistic."

Technical director James Allison revealed the new Coanda effect exhausts would provide not only an immediate boost in performance but also carry greater future potential for improvement.

"We've been ploughing something of a lonely furrow on the circuit with our relatively straightforward, power-maximizing exhaust," Allison said. "However, since well before the launch of the E20 and to the present day we've been carrying out parallel developments in our wind tunnel programme based around a Coandă effect exhaust. Once we saw the potential gain of the Coandă system surpass that of our current design it was clear that we needed to implement it, both for the benefit we could get in the last quarter of this season and also for learning experience it presents us for next year. We will run our first version of this style of exhaust in Korea."

The Coanda exhausts had been pioneered by the likes of McLaren and Sauber, but Allison is confident that they should be relatively easy to introduce to the E20.

"It is not as big a deal as the 2011 style blown exhausts. Last year (for all teams, but especially for our forward exhausts) it was quite challenging to ensure that the exhausts did not set fire to the car. The Coandă system is a little more indirect, and the jet has cooled a little before it impinges on the floor which makes things a little easier to manage. There's still a fair amount of rearrangement including new Coke panels, new exhausts, new exhaust exit panels, some fireproofing of the floor and so on. All told, it's a biggish change rather than an enormous one. It's also easier to swap to and fro for evaluation."