The Lotus-Renault team became the fourth Formula One team to present their 2011 race cars to the media. The R31, as it’s being called, was presented at the pit lane of the Valencia race track ahead of its first pre-season test session that’s been scheduled for next Tuesday at the same circuit.
In addition to the presentation of the black-and-gold R31, Lotus-Renault also presented their 2011 driver line-up, featuring Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov. Together with technical director James Allison, team principal Eric Boullier, and chairman Gerard Lopez, Kubica and Petrov personally pulled the covers off of the R31, marking the return to partnership of two companies - Lotus and Renault - that last worked together in the 80s.
“Words like ‘aggressive’ and ‘innovative’ are very much in vogue in Formula One at the moment, but where the R31 is concerned we feel those adjectives are appropriate,” Allison said.
“It’s true to say that the car has been designed in an ambitious manner and a quick glance at the layout will confirm that its entire concept differs considerably, not just from last year’s car, but from any car this team has ever produced.”
Details on the Lotus Renault R31 after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
Similar to a lot of other Formula One race cars, the Lotus Renault R31 is built with a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis. As part of new Formula One regulations, the car will no longer have an adjustable front wing and an F-duct. The car will also have the its own pullrod rear suspension layout that Red Bull re-introduced last year after being phased out for an extended period of time.
Technical director James Allison likewise mentioned that the R31 will be a completely different car from its predecessor, saying that 92 percent of the components found on the car will be completely new.
According to Team Principal Eric Boullier, the Lotus Renault R31 will be powered by a 2.4-liter Renault V8 engine.
If you can’t beat ’em, join forces and try doing it again. That’s the mentality that Lotus-Renault should have heading into a season that figures to be dominated by the usual suspects including Red Bull, McLaren , and Ferrari .
F1 Season Starts In...
...the Middle East - Bahrain, specifically. The 2011 season debut is scheduled for March 11th-13th, 2011. Something tells us that this year is going to carry over the momentum carried from last year’s dramatic conclusion to the season.