|Formula One World Championship|
|Constructors||Lotus F1 Team|
|Drivers||9. Kimi Räikkönen|
|Debut||2012 Australian Grand Prix|
The Lotus E20 is a Formula One racing car designed and to be produced by the Enstone-based Lotus F1 Team for the 2012 Formula One season. The E20 will be the twentieth Formula One car to be designed at Enstone since 1992, and is named in tribute to the contribution made by the facility and its personnel in their twenty-year history. The car will also be the first from Enstone to carry the Lotus name, since the team ceased using the Renault name following their renaming from Lotus Renault GP at the end of 2011. The team will continue to use Renault engines for the car. The new car is expected to be launched by the team on its website on 5 February 2012. The car will be driven by 2007 World Drivers' Champion Kimi Räikkönen and reigning GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean, both of whom return to Formula One after a two-year absence.
Ride height systemEdit
The Lotus E20 was developed with a "reactive ride-height" system. It was first proposed in January 2010, and spent the next two years in development before making its debut at the Young Driver Tests in Abu Dhabi where it was spotted by an Italian journalist. The system used hydraulic cylinders located in the brake calipers and suspension push-rods to make minute adjustments to the ride height of the car, thereby keeping the ride height at an optimal level throughout the race and providing stability during braking, and was initially approved by the FIA as being legal but was banned one week later. The FIA later confirmed that the reactive ride-height systems violated Article 3.15 of the technical regulations, which states that "any aerodynamic effect created by the suspension should be incidental to its primary function" and "any device that influences the car's aerodynamics must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car", and that the system's primary purpose was achieving aerodynamic gains as opposed to providing stability under braking and could therefore be considered a moveable aerodynamic device, the use of which is banned by the sport's techncial regulations. The teams were notified of the FIA's decision on 20 January 2012, and as a consequence, the reactive ride height system did not feature on 2012 cars.
The team was forced to withdraw from the second pre-season test in Barcelona when Romain Grosjean complained about a "strange" feeling in the chassis while driving on the opening morning of the test. The team gave no official diagnosis of the problem at the time, but speculation within the media suggested the problem was related to the front suspension and that the problem presented itself at the Circuit de Catalunya because of the higher lateral loads placed on the chassis at the circuit than those experienced at Jerez James Allison, the team's technical director, later confirmed that the team had identified the problem as being the mounting of the upper front wishbone on the rear suspension arm. Grosjean had been testing the chassis designated E20-02 at the time; the chassis E20-01 was returned to the team's Enstone facility following completion of testing at Jerez. Upon discovering the problem, Lotus initially prepared chassis E20-01 to be transported to Barcelona to complete the test, but simulations revealed that the problem was also present on E20-01, and so the team decided to withdraw from the remainder of the test with immediate effect. The problem was then corrected in time for the team to start the season.
|Chassis||Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque|
|Front suspension||Independent suspension, pullrod activated torsion springs|
|Rear suspension||Independent suspension, pullrod activated torsion springs|
|Tyres||Pirelli P Zero (dry), Cinturato(wet)|
|Engine||Renault RS27-2012 2.4 L (146 cu in) naturally aspirated mid-mounted|
|Gearbox||Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear. “Quickshift” system.|
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2012||Lotus F1 Team||Renault RS27-2012||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||EUR||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||KOR||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||303||4th|
† Driver failed to finish the race, but was classified as they had completed greater than 90% of the race distance.