The Lotus E21 is the first of the 2013 Formula 1 cars to be shown off to the public, having been unveiled online this evening.
Pictures were leaked before the event, confirming that the car will retain the stepped nose design as of last year.
The livery is mostly the same, save for an unusual red section around the sidepod.
As already noted, the E21 will continue to run the stepped nose system into 2013. Technical director James Allison explains the decision to not run the FIA-approved “modesty panel”:
"Such a panel is optional and I would not be surprised if the majority of the grid
chose not to make use of it. The panel will add a few grams of weight and so is
only likely to run on the car if a team can find a performance benefit for doing
Allison also noted that Lotus were considering running the double DRS system in the E21.
Unusually, there appears to be little drastic changes to the exterior of the car, leading some to claim that Lotus are yet to introduce several upgrades on the car. If so, this would be in order to protect technical secrets, at least until testing begins in Jerez.
Davide Valsecchi joins the squad
Also revealed today is that current GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi is to join the team as a third driver for the year.
The 26-year-old spent several years in the feeder series, before finally succeeding at the fifth attempt with the DAMS team, who are linked to Lotus team principal Eric Boullier’s young driver organisation.