Feb.5 (Lotus) The car which Kimi Raikkonen will drive on his return to Formula 1 – the Lotus E20 – was unveiled to the world today at the team’s headquarters.
This is the 20th F1 car produced at the Enstone factory, hence the monicker – E20.
Raikkonen and team mate Romain Grosjean did the honours of taking the wraps off the black and gold E20 which, like the majority of recently unveiled cars, features a steeped up section between the cockpit and the front nose area.
Raikkonen said: “I think these people know how to build a good [racing] car. Even the biggest teams cannot produce a winning car every year. They’re very capable people and they have a good feeling about things. They’re pushing hard so hopefully we will get good results.”
Asked if he had any apprehension coming back to F1 which he abandoned two years ago, the 2007 world champion answered: “Not really. It will be something slightly different to what it used to be when I was in F1 before. A different team and different regulations, but everybody’s different. For some people it’s more difficult to get used to new stuff.”
“It depends a lot on the car. If you have a good car it makes your life easier than if you have an average car. I was pretty happy after the first test we did two weeks ago. It felt pretty normal already. I think it will be okay, but before the first race it’s really difficult to say still. We will wait and see, but I am happy with how things are going,” added Raikkonen.
Team principal Eric Boullier gave notice that the team’s 2012 challenger features innovations which were ‘under the hood’, saying “It is true that the team’s reputation is good in terms of innovation and we brought through the last years some nice ones, and let’s say some more delicate ones, but definitely we have some this year.”
Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by Lotus F1 Team and designed for maximum strength with minimum weight. RS27-2012 V8 engine installed as a fully-stressed member.
Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted inside the front of the monocoque. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones with pull rod operated torsion springs and transverse-mounted damper units mounted in the top of the gearbox casing. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear. “Quickshift” system in operation to maximise speed of gearshifts.
Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL.
Separate oil and water radiators located in the car’s sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car’s forward motion.
MES-Microsoft Standard Electronic Control Unit. braKiNg system
Carbon discs and pads. Calipers by AP Racing. Master cylinders by AP racing and Brembo.
Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, with six-point or eight-point harness seat belt by OMP Racing. Steering wheel integrates gear change, clutch paddles, and rear wing adjuster.
Motor generator unit driving into front of engine with batteries as an energy store. Motor Generator supplied by Renault Sport F1. Electronic control unit by Magneti-Marelli.