Lotus confident of ‘massive step forward’

Date published: January 27 2015

Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester is confident that their new E23 Hybrid – which was unveiled on Monday – will help the team to make a 'massive step forward' following a difficult 2014 season.

The Enstone team makes the switch to Mercedes power units from Renault for the 2015 season and Chester is confident that Lotus will be far more reliable this year than in 2014 and will have a significant performance boost.

"The E23 Hybrid represents a massive step forward for us. It's no secret that we struggled with last year's car so we've targeted every area that caused us an issue," Chester said after the E23 Hybrid was unveiled on Monday.

"We've made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling.

"We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor. In terms of what's new, obviously a massive change for us is a new power unit supplier.

"We made this change as it looked and looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain. It's not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too. 

"The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we've paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable." 

The E23 Hybrid will also sport a brand new suspension system after last year's mid-season regulation changes forced Lotus into a rethink on that aspect of the car.

"In terms of the suspension, we were delivered something of a blow last year when the front-rear interconnected suspension was outlawed mid-season," Chester added. 

"The E23's suspension design is specific to the updated regulations so we're not trying to update a system originally intended to work a different way."