Allison: Stepped nose a better option
28 January 2013 – Lotus Technical Director James Allison says a stepped nose was always going to be the optimal design path for 2013, despite governing body the FIA permitting the use of a 'vanity panel'. According to the acclaimed engineer, the optional cover simply adds unnecessary weight and causes issues with aerodynamic efficieny.
"There is one rule which opens the possibility for a change as we will now be permitted to fit a non-structural 'vanity panel' on the upper surface of the nose as a means of avoiding the duck-bill style designs that we saw in 2012," said Allison.
"However, 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 grammes of weight and so is only likely to run on the car if a team can find a performance benefit for doing so."
Allison also confirmed that the team will be running its 'Double DRS' system in 2013, having trialled it throughout the 2012 campaign. The passive device, which is not to be confused with the now outlawed variations that exploited holes in the rear wing when DRS was enabled, will stall the rear wing of the E21 when it reaches a certain speed.