• Lotus

Lotus nose not easy to copy

ESPN Staff
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Lotus says it will be difficult for other teams to copy its twin tusk nose concept and is confident the design is offering an advantage.

The Lotus E22 broke cover in public for the first time last week and immediately stood out due to its novel approach to new regulations regarding the height of the nose. The solution is unique among the current crop of F1 cars, but with a number of Lotus engineering staff leaving the team for rivals over the winter there was the possibility that the idea could leak.

"Some teams have had the luck to have visibility [of the concept] quite early and I thought one or two teams might have tried it or maybe developed it," Lotus technical director Nick Chester said. "I think one of things that's difficult with that nose is that it's quite hard to structurally develop it and crash test it. It might be that they were already on a [different] path where it was too late to develop that kind of nose.

"Obviously it's a very different structure to a standard nose and it took quite a lot of iteration to get it to a point where we were happy and it got through the crash test."

Chester is convinced the idea is having the desired effect on track.

"From the aero numbers we are getting back from the car it does seem to be performing. I'm not going to give you a number on how much better we thought it was than a standard low nose, but we did see what we thought was a significant benefit, which is why we chased it."

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