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Q&A - James Allison, Lotus

James Allison on changes being made at Lotus for the Korean GP
What do we have new on the car for Korea?

James Allison:
We've been ploughing something of a lonely furrow on the circuit with our relatively straightforward, power-maximizing exhaust. However, since well before the launch of the E20 and to the present day we've been carrying out parallel developments in our wind tunnel programme based around a Coandă effect exhaust. Once we saw the potential gain of the Coandă system surpass that of our current design it was clear that we needed to implement it, both for the benefit we could get in the last quarter of this season and also for learning experience it presents us for next year. We will run our first version of this style of exhaust in Korea.

Are there a lot of changes involved with the Coandă system?

James Allison:
It is not as big a deal as the 2011 style blown exhausts. Last year (for all teams, but especially for our forward exhausts) it was quite challenging to ensure that the exhausts did not set fire to the car. The Coandă system is a little more indirect, and the jet has cooled a little before it impinges on the floor which makes things a little easier to manage. There's still a fair amount of rearrangement including new Coke panels, new exhausts, new exhaust exit panels, some fireproofing of the floor and so on. All told, it's a biggish change rather than an enormous one. It's also easier to swap to and fro for evaluation.

Where do we stand on the implementation of the Double DRS 'Device'?

James Allison:
We haven't had the happiest of introductions with the system. It's been harder than I anticipated to make it switch effectively with only the limited opportunity afforded in Free Practice. We're going to take it away, have another think and most likely give it another go in the Abu Dhabi young drivers' test where we'll have more time to develop it in a systematic fashion.

The team's other upgrades gave the impression of working quite well – at least for qualifying – in Suzuka?

James Allison:
It was quite pleasing that we were able to resurrect the upgrades that left Singapore under something of a cloud. It's annoying when something that the tunnel says will be good does not work straight away, but it is very easy at the track to end up with a false negative – as we did in Singapore. The problem is that the track is a very uncontrolled testing environment. It's always a relief when you find out at the second attempt that the factory modelling was correct after all.

Is there any reason why we didn't have the race pace in Suzuka?

James Allison:
We took a little bit of damage in the first lap incident with Kimi and subsequently saw some loss of aerodynamic performance as the race progressed. We had respectable qualifying positions in Suzuka, but if we can succeed with our upgrades it ought to put some fairly clear air between us and the squabbling pack.

Any fears about how the Yeongam circuit should suit the E20?

James Allison:
It's a bit like Germany. The first part of the circuit is largely straights and sweeping curves and the second half a series of slower speed corners. It averages out as a fairly ordinary type of track with slightly more overtaking opportunities than average. The weather may be a little cooler than we would ideally like it, but we are expecting a good weekend.

Tagged as: Allison , Lotus , korea , James Allison

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