Lotus E23 ‘a massive step forward’

The car is the first the team have produced since switching to Mercedes power after scoring just 10 points during the 2014 season when their engines were supplied by Renault.

In its most notable design feature, the E23 has been presented with a conventional nose – a clear departure from the split ‘twin tusk’ nose of its predecessor.

According to technical chief Nick Chester, the new car “represents a massive step forward for us. It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue. We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling. We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor.”

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will continue to drive for the team in 2015, with Jolyon Palmer appointed the team’s third driver following his GP2 championship win last year.

In terms of what’s new, obviously a massive change for us is a new Power Unit supplier,” said Chester. “We made this change as it looked and looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain. It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too.

“We learnt a lot in many areas of the car over the course of 2014 so there are many lessons which have been applied. We know we’ve made a big step. We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.”