Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lotus Malaysia 2013 Upgrades

In Malaysia Lotus brought forth a couple of upgrades that included a new front wing endplate, a new tunnel under the exhaust and a new diffuser gurney flap.

After introducing their brand new front wing in the last preseason test in Barcelona which featured new upper elements, new cascade winglets and new endplates, Lotus have introduced a slight modification to the front wing endplates in Malaysia. The upper part of the endplate is now split into two elements. The change can be seen in the illustration below. This is done to improve flow around the front wheels, as the split endplate will now induce a stronger vortex and aid the flow of air around the front wheels and incidentally reducing their wake and improving flow towards the rear of the car.

New Front Wing Endplate

Old Front Wing Endplate
The team also introduced a new tunnel under the Red Bull inspired exhaust ramp, which much like the upgrade Red Bull introduced in late 2012, the tunnel is now smaller. The tunnel is there to improve flow at the rear of the car as the so called coke bottle is now lost. By reducing the size of the tunnel, they are achieving cleaner flow towards the rear of the car as well as reducing the drag induced by the larger tunnel.

New Sidepod Tunnels

Old Sidepod Tunnels

The third upgrade introduced by Lotus is a new diffuser gurney flap, which is actually no longer a gurney flap. Red Bull started a trend in 2011 of replacing the gurney flap with a small airfoil on top of the diffuser’s trailing edge. Since then most teams have followed. Lotus had already replaced the gurney flap in the central section of the diffuser with the airfoil, and have replaced the gurney flap on the edges of the diffuser last weekend in Malaysia as can be seen in the illustrations below.

New airfoils on top of the edges diffuser
Old gureny flaps on the edges if the diffuser

The last upgrade lotus introduced is a slightly revised barge board which had already been previously upgraded featuring slots to strengthen the vortex induced and keep the airflow attached behind the barge boards.


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