Lotus E20 to be launched today

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Last year: Renault R31, this year: Lotus E20

The fifth of this year’s F1 cars will be seen for the first time today as Lotus prepare to unveil their E20.

The car takes its name from the Enstone factory the team is based at, which was previously home to Renault and Benetton. The E20 is the 20th F1 car to be built there.

Lotus are launching their car online at 4pm UK time.

F1 Links

F1’s Lewis Hamilton starting afresh after ‘battling everybody’ in 2011 (The Guardian)

“There were times last year when I was juggling too many things. There were too many things hanging over me, too many things which were unfinished, questions in my mind, whether it was purchases, investments, management, lawyers or family.”

Hamilton confident he can get better of Button (Daily Telegraph)

“I don’t even feel that when I was qualifying, even when I got pole, that I was extracting 100 per cent of what I can do. And in races even less than that.”

F1 teams hope to keep noses clean (The Times, subscription required)

“Speculation was growing [on Friday] night that Charlie Whiting, race director for the FIA, which sets the technical regulations that determine the shapes and sizes of Formula One cars, will fly to the first official test of the season next week to judge for himself whether they comply with the new rules. The season is yet to start, but controversy bubbles beneath the surface.”

Bianchi eyes non-F1 racing programme (Autosport)

“We are working on it. We are not sure yet, but I will try to have another programme as well [as F1].”

Sahara withdraws India cricket sponsorship, IPL team (Reuters)

“Sahara bid $370 million to become owners of the IPL Pune franchise in 2010 and invested $100 million in Force India for a 42.5 percent stake in the Formula One team last year.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Massa: "Er, I think Lewis already crashed into this one."

Once again we had lots of great suggestions for our caption competition.

Special mentions go to Mole, SamC, Sw6569, Arhn, Fcofdz and Mike the Bike Schumacher.

But the winner was robk23 – see his choice of caption on the picture here.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Then-BMW motorsport boss Gerhard Berger voiced his unhappiness with the Williams FW24 chassis his engine would be mounted in on this day ten years ago:

“It is true that after the first tests the new car did not produce the lap times we were expecting,” he said. “I always regard the speed of a new car on its first outing as a very important sign. And, even taking into account the need to make chassis set-up changes, we are not satisfied.”

Image © Renault/LAT, Ferrari spa

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “Lotus E20 to be launched today”

  1. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    5th February 2012, 0:07

    Hopefully they give Kimi a good car for the upcoming season..

    1. Yeah but hopefully not to good that gets in the way of Webster ;)

        1. I Love The Pope
          5th February 2012, 4:31

          “Thanks, Maam!”

  2. Lotus are launching their car online at 4pm UK time.

    That’s ridiculous. It’s going to be 3am here. Surely there’s got to be a time when teams can launch their cars in such a way that as many people as possible in Europe, Australasia and the Americas can see it together.

    1. All the launches so far have been around 3am my time, thereby saving my eyes some unpleasant shocks. So I’m moving to NY state next week (from CA). F1 races at 8am instead of 5am.

      1. Also a home Grand Prix in New Jersey next year!

        1. But you won’t get Australia, Japan, Korea at the cocktail hour anymore…

          1. I’m either going to have to save my pennies for a TiVo, convince my school that I will be unable to go to work on the 19th of November, or hope that OneHD shows a replay at a more-accessible hour (I had a really important uni exam first thing in the morning on the day after the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; fortuantely, they replayed it the next evening).

          2. I’ve watched F1 racing usually 1am here in NZ. I will watch all the racing this year same as last year. It will stop when no Schumi or Webber on the grid anymore. Replay is fine.. :)

          3. I remember getting zero sleep and staying up until 7 or 8am NZ time watching the end of Montreal last year before heading off to work and being quite happy with my descision. I’ve never felt too inconvenieced by the timing of any of the events, if I care enough I’ll stay up and be tired the next day and if not I’ll just sleep and catch up on it in the morning. It’s hardly a big deal and besides, things always seem a little more exciting when you are awake at the wee hours of the morning to check them out

      2. Alright, I think I’ve got it worked out: Sydney is eleven hours ahead of London. New York is five hours behind. That means we need to somehow cover sixteen hours so that as many people as possible can see it in unison. That’s a fairly reasonable proposition, because there are twenty-four hours a day, and allowing for eight hours’ sleep, we still have sixteen hours left over.

        So I would say that the ideal time for a launch is 1pm GMT. That way, it will be midnight in Sydney and 8am in New York. Sadly, I can’t do much for timezones east of Sydney or west of New York. Nevertheless, I have proven it is possible. But this begs the question of why Lotus feels it is necessary to wait until 4pm.

        1. You misssed out one very important area there, the west coast of the USA or probably better expressed as you missed out California, eight hours behind London.
          Therefore 4 pm is probably the best time as it makes it 8 am PST.

          1. Therefore 4 pm is probably the best time as it makes it 8 am PST.

            Except that cuts out most of Asia. And there are more people in Asia than the western United States, which means it’s more important because you can target more people. Besides, launching at 1pm GMT means it will be 5am PST. That way, people living in the western United States can wake up to the launch. Having the launch at 4pm GMT to make it a manageable time for those living on PST means that most of Asia will have to wait longer to see it. Lotus could target more people more effectively by bringing the launch forward by three hours.

          2. I think as Shanghai is UCT +8hrs and so the launch will be midnight there I think that those prts between Shanghai and LA will have to be the unlucky ones.
            I did google sales in Aus and noted Lotus Evora sold one car in July 2011 and that there have been 215 sales/orders in China since May 2011.

          3. You’re still assuming that the western United States is more important than Australiasia. But, like I said, Lotus can target more people more effectively by favouring Australiasia over the western United States simply because people in the US will not need to wait as long as people in Australia. At 11am GMT, people in the US could see pictures within three hours of them being uploaded. At 4pm GMT, people in Australiasia would have to wait at least six hours.

          4. Jason couple of posts bck you said tht the 4 pm lunch misses out most of Asia. Have you consulted Time Zone Map. The only significant bits that are not in the 8 am through to Midnight are Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.


          5. Jason couple of posts bck you said tht the 4 pm lunch misses out most of Asia. Have you consulted Time Zone Map. The only significant bits that are not in the 8 am through to Midnight are Japan, Korea, Mid and East Australia and New Zealand.


        2. @Jason It doesn’t really matter much though does it? It’s only a car launch, it’s not as if you’re missing a race or anything.

    2. they can’t please the whole world, there’s always going to be someone complaining.

      4 pm GMT is spot on for me!

    3. Annoying Australia is one thing, but also ignoring Japan, China, Malaysia, and Singapore strikes me as being pretty stupid as well. That is a huge chunk of the worlds population, as well as a few pretty important races.

      1. Exactly. But in the Australaisa region, Sydney is the furthest capital city to the east (sorry, Auckland, but you’re three hours ahead of us, and as impossible to work into a launch window as Los Angeles), so by treating Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time as the furthest boundary that you can reasonably reach, you automatically account for Japan, China, Korea, Singapore and the rest of Asia.

      2. Do you not think they might have just chosen it as a convenient time for themselves? It’s Sunday for crying out loud, I doubt they want to be up early or working late or disturbing the Sunday roast.

        I’m sure Australia and SE Asia are up in arms about this terrible timing – diplomatic ties being severed, ambassadors being recalled etc – but it is just a car launch :P

        1. I doubt they want to be up early or working late or disturbing the Sunday roast.

          Interesting choice of words. The Sunday roast became popular because it was something you could put in the oven on Sunday morning and it would be ready for lunch when you got him from church.

          it is just a car launch

          By a manufacturer whose parent company is based in south-east Asia.

          1. I think you avoided acknowledging what is a very good point.

            It’s not convenient for all of us, however the team is BASED IN ENGLAND. I use caps only in case you think the parent company would care about the launch.

          2. I’m with Mike, no idea why the identity of the parent company will have much if any impact. The parent company might care if it was a road car that would actually earn some proper money, and even then the launch is probably just going to happen at a time convinient for people (employees, journos etc.) in the country where the motor show is.

    4. I thought having to wait until 8pm was bad enough, but that really is pretty rubbish!

      1. Well, if there’s one good thing to come out of it, the blog should be back up online by about 9am tomorrow. I was online for the Caterham, McLaren, Ferrari and Force India launches, and the site was nearly overwhelmed by people trying to load it. But once the initial fervour dies down, I should be able to view the launch pictures at my leisure, even if I have to sift through about five hundred comments. Though since I’m expecting about 95% of them to be about how great Kimi Raikkonen is and how the car is clearly going to challenge Red Bull, I think I can skip them. I don’t care too much for the team, either; I think Eric Boullier is a poor manager, and the only reason why I supported them in 2011 was because Vitaly Petrov was driving for them. No Petrov means no reason to support them.

    5. You do know the Earth is a globe right?

      1. ↑↑ this

  3. WooHoo special mention for the caption competition!! They are good fun, nice idea Keith.

    1. Me too! :D

  4. Nice Cotd lol

  5. I think out of all the cars I would bet the E20 looks most different to it’s predecessor, if not, then at least one of the most different. No only because the whole car was based around the blown diffuser idea, but they tried something that ultimately went horribly wrong with the R31. If they can carry on the same level of innovation but make it work throughout the season that’d be nice.

    But the VJM05 is looking good, and the W03 already has people talking!

  6. Whaay Special mention! The winning one is epic!

  7. “Speculation was growing [on Friday] night that Charlie Whiting, race director for the FIA, which sets the technical regulations that determine the shapes and sizes of Formula One cars, will fly to the first official test of the season next week to judge for himself whether they comply with the new rules. The season is yet to start, but controversy bubbles beneath the surface.”

    I think this is a bit of an overstatement. I think Whiting is going to Jerez in order to sort out legality issues so that the season can start in Melbourne without anyone going to the stewards.

    1. I’m not sure that Charlie Whiting can sort out any legality problems. Remember double diffusers, on being asked about them before the season started Charlie Whiting told the teams that asked he thought they were illegal, so a least one team didn’t design and use them, but that was not the case.

      1. Well, he can give his views on weather he might give something the benefit of the doubt and what would he deem to be illegal straight out (if a team wants to try it anyway, they can put it to the stewards at the first race).

        I guess that way it will clear a lot of bickering between the teams in Australia.

  8. Lewis has repeated his 2011 excuses so often now he seems to actually believe they are true.

    1. @Steve I don’t recall Lewis making excuses in 2011, but I’m not aware of everything he say’s & does.

    2. Would be helpful if you can spot the excuses for me because i don’t see any.

      I think Lewis is trying not to be too self critical of himself like in the past(2010 season for example) and just being honest and realistic. He did have a troubled mind last year,He knows he wasn’t 100% there in terms of consistency and performance; It just shows you that he has actually reflected & started off ‘afresh’

      1. @younger-hamii Are you talking to me or Steve?

  9. LOL @ COTD caption

  10. Out of curiosity, at the Singapore GP, Lewis had on his helmet, “RIP MH & CB”, does anyone have any idea who they are?

    1. I believe CB was Christian Bakkerud, who died in a car accident shortly before the race.

      1. Thanks Jason and Robk23.

    2. MH was Martin Hines.

  11. Tom (@tomforpresident)
    5th February 2012, 9:53

    4pm? thats aggeeess.

    1. And clashes with the rugby !

      1. And it clashes with me going to see my mum!

        1. and it clashes with my errm drinking? wait that might make the car look good

  12. I can’t wait to see the E20. So far, the only car that has looked good with the high-step nose is the Force India.

    1. I agree, I feel Lotus will be going for a similar look. Lets hope the E20 exhaust system is in a normal spot!

    2. Agreed, they’re the only ones so far who’ve managed to make the stepped nose look good.

    3. Looked good isn’t quite right, it’ss more like “hasn’t made me violently ill” is a little closer to the truth!

  13. I don’t mind if its bunch of ducks heads or unicorns. Please please keep the championship open till India.

    1. What, got something against duck heads?

  14. I’m curious about the E20, and 4pm is a long way to go!

  15. grats to the caption winner this is just GREAT !!!!! +1

  16. I’m not sure if anyone has noticed this, I’m sure someone will be able to make me aware if so, but, I’d been thinking I recogonise the nose on the f2012. Now, if you google BJ & the Bear, then images , then look for the big truck. I think the f2012 nose look’s like the roof of BJ’s truck.

  17. @keithcollantine Do we watch the launch on the Lotus website??

  18. Tom (@tomforpresident)
    5th February 2012, 16:11

    where is it already!! i don’t want to watch the man with the guitar anymore…

  19. Not that different to last year’s car, other than the stepped nose:

  20. Any idea how Kangaroo TV (or whatever it is they call themselves now) coverage is going to work this year? Will it primarily be Sky coverage or will it be BBC coverage when available?

  21. Last year, at Renault’s car launch, F1 fanatics posted only 16 comments about it. So far there’s 65. Kimi brings a lot of attention to a team, no question about it.

    1. I think this is more to do with the increased interest in the look of the cars, in particular the stepped nose.

      I think this would have attracted more comments than last year regardless of Kimi

    2. Actually, I think its rather more to do with the fact they had an event on Sunday afternoon this time, when last year they presented the car only short before the start of testing, and having other teams presenting their cars almost at the same time, as well as everyone looking forward to the first cars out on track rather than looking at pictures from the pitlane.

Comments are closed.