A peek of 12,866 people watched online and many more were glued to their television screens as Lotus F1 unveiled their 2013 challenger to the world. They won the first race of the season; the Lotus E21 is the first car to be launched for 2013. I can now gleefully proclaim that the championship feels close.
The corporate setting was not surprising, nor was Kimi’s stone cold face. He really doesn’t like the media does he? The sponsors had turned up in their hundreds. Days of counting had led to this moment and it didn’t disappoint.
Prior to the launch, Lotus asked us all to “watch history in the making”, I wasn’t going to miss that for the world. Eric Boullier was first to talk, I could physically see the sweat pouring from his brow – pre season nerves were showing.
The Lotus car was unveiled upon a flurry of applause which filtered throughout the room. As Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean lifted the fabric off the car, the world took a collective intake of breath. This was the moment the season began.
The car features a ‘stepped nose’ similar to that of the Lotus E20 seen the year previous. Technical Director James Allison explained that the similarities stem from a desire to keep the cars related. In other words each Lotus will appear similar; that way the Lotus car are more distinguishable on the track.
The car in my eyes is beautiful. Not usually a fan of a stepped nose I couldn’t help but be amazed by its simplicity. The car on the outside looks very similar but will have been intricately woven inside to create an innovate and ultimately different car to previous years. That’s why I love this sport; nothing is ever as it seems.
The car has been described by witnesses as “an interesting evolution” and “beautiful”. I can’t say I disagree.
Comments about the beauty of the car were made at the launch itself. Too corporate? Perhaps but sponsorship deals always meant that was an inevitability. Indeed Allison himself commented that the look came second – “adding one gram makes all the difference” he proclaimed. He looked pleased with the car. For a team that must evolve, this confidence is key.
“They know me now” explained Kimi Raikkonen, suggesting the Lotus has matched his exacting standards. If Kimi can connect to the car to a similar standard as last year then this season is bound to be incredible. This in turn leads me on my most asked question of the night. Does the car look quick?
It does but ultimately Jerez will be the true test of pace. This launch is only the beginning; there’s plenty more news to come. I know, it’s very exciting but please sit down. There’s still a fourty-five day wait until the cars emerge onto the starting grid. Then the championship will really begin.
To everybody who laughed when I told them with excitement that the car was to be launched today, I am just pleased I got to witness this moment for myself. I know that my readers felt the same.
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