Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that this year’s Formula 1 challenger will be named the E20, with a new nomenclature commencing to commemorate the twentieth chassis designed at the team’s base in Enstone, Oxfordshire.
The E20 will be unveiled through the team’s website, www.lotusf1team.com on February 5th and shown to the world’s media the following day in Jerez, Spain when it will briefly take to the track for filming. On February 7th team race driver Kimi Räikkönen will start the team’s test programme at Jerez.
Enstone has been a Formula 1 team base since 1992, with the team then known as Benetton moving to the facility from its previous Witney, Oxfordshire, base.
This season will see the 500th Grand Prix contested by Lotus F1 Team, including those contested through its previous incarnations. Lotus F1 Team’s roots can be traced to Toleman Motorsport, which entered Formula 1 in 1981 and started 57 Grands Prix. For 1986 the team was renamed as Benetton, and in this guise 260 races were contested until in 2002 the team became Renault F1 Team.
As Renault F1 Team, 159 Grands Prix were started, with the team becoming Lotus Renault GP for 2011, contesting a further 19 events. The current total of Grands Prix stands at 495.
The 60% scale wind tunnel and the new 'Driver in the Loop' simulator, which is currently being built, are two examples of the team's continued investments in its Enstone facilities.
A video teaser of the E20 can be seen by logging on to www.lotusf1team.com.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing Director: “Our naming of the chassis to recognise Enstone’s importance to the team’s evolution highlights our recognition of the contribution of the facility and the personnel who work tirelessly every year to produce the very best car possible. We certainly hope that this is the case with the E20 and we are looking forward to revealing the car to the world and seeing it out on track for the first time. There are a number of technical changes from last year and we have an exciting new driver line-up to extract the maximum from the E20 through the twenty Grands Prix of the 2012 season, including the 500th race for this team through its different incarnations. We hope that the E20 proves to be a performing Enstone design.”