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Lotus to introduce Coanda exhaust

Tuesday 9th October 2012

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Lotus to introduce Coanda exhaust

Lotus to introduce Coanda exhaust

There is good news and bad news for Lotus in terms of upgrades to the E20 over the next few races.

The Enstone squad have confirmed they will add the Coanda exhaust system at the Korean Grand Prix, but they will not test the double-DRS until after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

With McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes using the new design - which uses the Coanda effect of airflow being attracted to nearby surfaces - to good effect, Lotus have decided to follow suit.

Technical director James Allison admits it's a "biggish change" to the E20, but one which they hope will help them to gain some time back on their rivals.

"We've been ploughing something of a lonely furrow on the circuit with our relatively straightforward, power-maximising exhaust," he 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 Coanda effect exhaust.

"Once we saw the potential gain of the Coanda 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.

"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 Coanda 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."

While the Coanda gets the green light, the double-DRS will not be used again until the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi at the start of November.

"We haven't had the happiest of introductions with the system," Allison said.

"It's been harder than I anticipated to make it switch effectively with only the limited opportunity afforded in Free Practice. We're going to take it away, have another think and most likely give it another go in the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers' test where we'll have more time to develop it in a systematic fashion."

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