Lotus to evaluate new nose design in Austin

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Lotus F1 Team has confirmed that it will test an alternative design for its nosecone in practice for next weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

The seismic change to the F1 technical regulations for the 2014 season spurned a variety of nose designs depending on the interpretation of the rules by the team’s designers.

The nose on the Lotus E22 car was unique though, with the twin-tusk design being nicknamed a ‘tuning fork’ due to its appearance. The team insisted that it was the best way to interpret the regulations, but its on-track performance has been poor, scoring just eight points so far this season.

In preparation for the 2015 season and to aid development of next year’s E23 car, Lotus will test a ‘single’ nose design in practice for the United States GP in Austin next weekend, as explained by team technical director Nick Chester.

“This will be for evaluation and aero data logging,” Chester said. “It’s something we’re doing as part of our preparations for the E23 Hybrid, next year’s car.

“It won’t be the definite launch E23 nose but it is an E23-style nose that we are putting on an E22 for evaluation.

“We don’t expect it to perform as such on the current car as it hasn’t been optimised for the E22 but it will still be an interesting comparison.”

“The E22’s nose is pretty distinct so it will be unusual seeing it with something different on the front,” commented Lotus driver Romain Grosjean. “This is part of the team’s evaluations for 2015, and the nose is designed to gather information for next year.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like, but my main focus is the race weekend.”