Lotus had a rough morning today as millions of fans around the world tuned in to see the live launch of the 2012 car, dubbed the E20. But the information now emerging makes the technical difficulties seem trivial given what looks to be a very promising design with great potential for the 2012 season.
Lotus is receiving well-deserved praise from the F1 community for developing a very good looking car, and we share the sentiment. The now common platypus nose was mitigated well by the Lotus team, and the overall shape of the car is quite pleasing. We'll see how the new design translates to performance on the track beginning with testing on Tuesday in Jerez, Spain.
Backed by two championship winning drivers for 2012 - former F1 champ Kimi Räikkönen and GP2 Champ Romain Grosjean - Lotus' new driver lineup could help propel the team into a top tier finish, elevating the Lotus brand into the spotlight. Kimi's return to the sport has drawn attention to the team as many hope to see the 'Flying Finn' back on the podium this season. The hope is for both drivers' experience to translate team synergy into points, providing serious competition across the F1 grid.
Lotus published a video on their YouTube Channel, which includes a twenty minute presentation of the launch and interviews with many of the key players in the team: Kimi Räikkönen, Romain Grosjean, reserve driver Jérôme d’Ambrosio, and team principal Eric Boullier. It offers great insight into the team's operations and a rare glimpse at the magnitude of the operations of an F1 constructor; be sure to check it out.
The website refresh is also live, including more press releases, media and fan interaction. Many of the teams are implementing more web-based and social media efforts for real time fan interaction - which we LOVE. Since Americans rely largely on the internet for our live F1 news and entertainment, we hope F1 teams continue to pursue and develop this channel for fans.