Lotus is to run its latest upgrades to the Coanda exhaust system once again in Texas next weekend with the aim of running it in a racing environment at the Circuit of the Americas.
The team trialled upgrades to the part in practice in Abu Dhabi but elected to run the device in the same spec as in Korea, when it was introduced for the first time.
Technical director James Allison has now revealed that the team hopes to run the upgrades in the United States Grand Prix as part of its latest upgrades,which are to be introduced after Kimi Raikkonen's victory in Abu Dhabi.
“We are still experimenting with the latest evolution of our Coandã system,” he said. “This delivers the same downforce as the one we introduced in Korea and used in the Abu Dhabi race, but does not sap as much power from the engine. We trialled this evolution in Abu Dhabi, but opted to go for the known quantity of the Korea-spec. Now we have the young driver test behind us, we are confident that this evolution will assist with around an extra six horsepower for the last two races of the season. We also have a little aero upgrade to the front wing too.
“Since we upgraded the car with the Coandã exhaust system in Korea, the E20's actually been pretty decent. It maybe hasn't looked that way in Korea and India as we were trapped behind other people, but the pace of the car in the races has been strong. In Abu Dhabi, Kimi was making very confident sounding noises before the race as he was happy with the car. What we needed was an adequate result from qualifying to give us half a chance, and then a good start.
“We got both of those; Kimi did a cracking lap in qualifying, there was a bit of good fortune with Sebastian going to the back of the grid, then a bit more good fortune by Webber having a poor start. It was the first race for a long time where we could run the car in free air near the front of the grid and – hey presto – we won the race.”
Allison added that the Circuit of the Americas venue is one where Lotus should be able to run strongly.
“It's a similar overall downforce level used on the car, but it's a very different circuit from the Yas Marina,” he said. “There is a much wider range of corner types. Austin has a series of flowing fast corners, which doesn't exist in Abu Dhabi, then there are some slow chicanes which do. The diversity of corners means that it's a much sterner overall test of the car. However, if we look at other tracks that test the car in this comprehensive manner, we've been pretty good.”