Of the images of 2014 Formula 1 cars so far released by teams, Lotus has the most unconventional front nose design of all with the E22 concept resembling that of the Williams Fw26 ‘walrus’ which, according to well respected technical guru Enrique Scalabroni, will generate a great deal of understeer.
Speaking to Omnicorse, Scalabroni, formerly with Ferrari, Williams, Lotus and Peugeot Sport, observed, “The solution is original and interprets the restrictive front end regulations in a very particular way. This is very reminiscent to that of the 2004 Williams FW26 walrus nose. Also interesting is that the two ‘teeth’ of the nose are asymmetrical.”
In 2004 Williams used a similar concept, devised by Antonia Terzi, but it was ditched early on in the season for a more conventional solution.
“Of course from an aerodynamic point of view this could have some advantages. Patrick Head [Williams technical director at the time] told me that the data in the wind tunnel was excellent when compared to a more conventional nose, but the same results did not happen on track.”
Scalabroni predicts, “The front end [of the Lotus E22] will generate strong understeer, which will make the car unstable in rapid changes of direction. Both face plates are very long and will create a high moment where the driver will feel a strange reaction when turning the steering wheel. It will have an effect like a fin…”
Lotus are set to miss the first official F1 testing of the season at Jerez, but should be present at the Bahrain sessions next month with Romain Grosjean and necomer Pastor Maldonado on duty. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.