• Jan 31st 2011 at 2:30PM
  • 13
2011 Team Lotus T128 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Team Lotus has had a busy off-season, principally dealing with the naming rights dispute with Group Lotus and its new Renault team. That issue is still far from resolved, with both teams laying claim to the name, but the Malaysian outfit is taking first blood by launching its new car online before their British counterparts unveil theirs at Valencia. In doing so, Team Lotus becomes the second team to launch its 2011 challenger (following the new Ferrari F150), and the team calls it a complete clean-sheet redesign over last year's car.

Designed by Mike Gascoyne, the new Lotus T128 is a considerably more radical than the T127 it replaces, which was rushed onto the grid with a more conservative design in order to get the team a foothold in its inaugural season. Swapping the previous car's Cosworth power for Renault, the T128 also uses a Red Bull gearbox and starts the season without the KERS regenerative braking system permitted for use once again under this year's regulations.

The T128 sticks with the green and yellow livery after initial plans to switch to the JPS black and gold were aborted before Lotus Renault GP released its own plans for the same. It will be piloted once again by Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, with its reserve/test drive still yet to be announced. The new car isn't expected to make its on-track debut until the second day of testing at Valencia, but you can read more about it in the press release after the jump and take your first look in the high-resolution image gallery below.

[Source: Team Lotus]

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Team Lotus Unveils 2011 Car

The Team Lotus 2011 challenger T128 was launched on Monday 31st January exclusively in Team Lotus Notes. The special launch edition of the team's magazine has a number of first-see images of the 2011 car and insights from key players within Team Lotus into the design and build process of the new car, including people from the Aero, R&D and Vehicle Dynamics, Design and Senior Management Teams.

Here are a few selected highlights, but click on the link to the launch edition on the homepage of www.teamlotus.co.uk for the whole story.

Marianne Hinson, Head of Aerodynamics: "In aero we started thinking about the new car around Spring last year, a bit before any of the other departments. The start of the process is a really fun period, when you're looking through the new rules, thrashing out ideas and trying to find loopholes."

Lewis Butler, Chief Designer: "The biggest design challenge was trying to package everything a bit smaller. We were trying to get that area around the driver really tight so the aerodynamicists were happy with it."

Elliot Dason-Barber, Head of R&D and Vehicle Dynamics: "We're definitely going to take a step forward with this car. Quite how much we'll close the gap to the teams in front of us we'll see, but my hope is we'll be competing with the teams that were a second or two ahead of us last season."

Keith Saunt, Chief Operating Officer: "You can just see that this car will be faster than last year's. It's got the right sweeps and curves on it - it's the very latest iteration of what an F1 car should be."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "I think that basically this car looks like a front-running car in every area. We said very clearly that we want to start challenging the established teams and I think that's very achievable."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "T128 takes Team Lotus in exactly the right direction. We have said since day one of the Team Lotus dream that the plan for our second year was to take the fight to the midfield, and with this car we are all confident that is what we will be able to do."

Team Principal Tony Fernandes: "There has been so much focus off-track it's a thrill to be able to get back to talking about racing. The launch of the T128 is a big step forward for Team Lotus and I want to thank the whole team for the amount of hard work that has already gone into the car, and I want to thank Renault and Red Bull Technology for their tremendous support in helping us make this step forward and for being such great team partners."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Certainly looks the business, hopefully they can make a better showing than last year and pick up a point or two...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I usually root for an underdog/back-runner... lets hope this Lotus Renault can catch up to the other Lotus Renault team.

      On a side note, I counted 9 women in the team photo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you ask me the team lotus, not the Renault team, should have adopted the black magic because they are the more authentic. Renault GP are name squatters.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have seen the Lotus Reanult already here:
      How is that before?
      • 4 Years Ago
      There's 3 renderings and one real photo that shows next to nothing. There are more photos (try f1fanatic.co.uk) and I fail to see what's radical about it aside from nicking the drivetrain from last year's winner. Starting without kers this year is a mistake, but probably is just because of time/money.

      I'm just hoping that between the three new teams they can score a point this year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Radical? It doesn't even have a v-shape chassis...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like the nicked the front wing off the TF109.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Team Lotus is BS! Look at them using the Lotus logo and colors as if it belongs to them! They are just a team who basically rented the Lotus name and now they are claiming it to be theirs. Group Lotus is the real Lotus. Nuff said!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, the Lotus Group isn't entitled to use the 'Team Lotus' trademark. The latter remained in the hands of the Chapman family, who later sold it to David Hunt (James' brother). Then a malaysian group, headed by Tony Fernandes, purchased the 'Team Lotus' name. Obviously, the right to use the name 'Lotus' is being disputed in court. The court will decide which team is the real Lotus...
        • 4 Years Ago
        While I understand your thoughts. I still stand behind Group Lotus on this dispute. The reason for that is because Team Lotus is doing just as you stated, using the Lotus name to help them. Plus there are plans in the future for Group lotus to build their own chassis and engine, hence their plans to buy out Renault F1 in the future.
        • 4 Years Ago
        True, who knows who really owns the rights to display those logos. And I admit I thought they were bs when they first started, just using the Lotus name to help them. But I've come to realise that perhaps this Lotus is the true Lotus, in spirit.
        Sure, Group Lotus is the actual Lotus company. But they're just a car company now, not the same F1 loving racing team once operated by Colin. And also Group Lotus is only sponsoring Renault, but it's still a Renault chassis, engine and gearbox. That doesn't sond very Lotus to me.
        While Team Lotus is an independant company who designs their chassis all in house and only outsources the drivetrain. Now that sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?
        Just my 2 cents. Unless Group Lotus designs a chassis for Renauly to use, I think I'll associate Team Lotus with the Colin spirit, which is the only Lotus that matters...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, but I fail to see anything radical about this car. Could it be my eyes are failing me?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear F1:

      Please mandate the front wing to be smaller and less rediculous, so that teams spend more time developing the bits that may actually make it to a production car one day.

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