Surprise of the Year

Formula 1 - Season Review 2012: Lotus

by Kerstin Hasenbichler

The season is over and all of the titles were awarded. analyzes the performance of teams and drivers 2012th Today: Lotus. - The obligation of Kimi Raikkonen hit like a bomb. The Finn and his new team dominated the headlines even before it went on the world's racetracks. But Lotus wanted to make headlines on the track. "We want to be seen as one of the top teams in this competitive sport and cut accordingly," said team boss Eric Boullier clear before this season.

The route was in fourth place in the constructors' standings clearly defined. With 303 World Cup points Lotus has achieved his goal clearly - in the first half of the season the racing was even briefly in third place, just one point behind McLaren. But at the end of the racing team in the development race went out of steam and money. But the chances that the Black-Golden establish 2013 as the top team are very good. After all, the team finally runs its own simulator and you can get Coca Cola to sponsor boat.

The Team: Last year was laughed at, has clearly developed Lotus 2012 the status of a winning team. It has long been unclear how the team would be called at all, but was in the Lotus name clinch with Caterham, then still Team Lotus. After months of struggle, both parties agreed out of court, with the result that there was a 2012 only Lotus team.
Still plugged in fact behind the racing car manufacturer of the same name, though not the owner of the Lotus Formula 1 team, but only the main sponsor. Actual Control is the same investment company Genii Capital of businessman Gerard Lopez - and this has high expectations. "Mediocre or just kind of ride in Formula 1 is not our thing," said Lopez against motorsport clear.

The car: Like its predecessor, the new Lotus-powered car dressed in black and gold and so strongly reminded of the legendary John Player Special Lotus cars of the 70s. But those were already all in common. The year before named R31, the new race car went under the name of E20 at the start. Even with the winter testing of E20 impressed with his pace on the long runs, and its reliability.

That it is acting for no mirage, showed the first race of the season. The black and gold racer was in race trim on a level with McLaren & Co. - especially if the track temperatures were in the height - and was also very easy on the tires. In the pairing with Raikkonen proved the E20 a 100-percent reliability - despite minor defects such as KERS dropouts or problems with the differential, the Finn saw in all 20 races, the black and white checkered flag.

In addition to the updates that are not always brought the desired success on the track, constituted the qualifying performance and the weakest points of the cars because with little fuel on board could not keep up with the hot rod of approximately the speed of the top three teams.

The Driver: Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean - the driver pairing who prepared for the team headaches and experts could frown, has proven to be quite positive. Especially the Finnish F1 returnee convinced all along the line. Despite two years of absence Raikkonen had forgotten nothing and was already in his fourth race for Lotus on the podium.

Overall, he won seven podium finishes, including the first Lotus victory in Abu Dhabi. While Raikkonen was his callousness and experience for a long time acted as a dark horse for the title, had to pay his team-mate in 2012 a lot of dues. Grosjean drove likewise a three podiums and could defy Raikkonen in qualifying, but a lot more accidents ensured its headlines. Spa-Francorchamps he triggered a mass crash, after which he was suspended for one race. Although he then tried to keep out of all trouble, he was his reputation as a crash kid not let go.

Pro: 2012 Lotus was indeed guilty of the evidence that you can sustain throughout the season in the development race, yet the team won the season as a success. Lotus has reached the set goal - which was not other teams. Lotus has distanced itself clearly from midfield and was always the fourth strongest, and sometimes even the third strongest power in Formula 1Romain Grosjean would performs more like his team mate, McLaren would have to wrap up warm in the constructors' championship. After all the turmoil last year, an impressive leap forward. Congratulations, Kerstin Hasenbichler

Cons: third in the drivers 'championship, finished fourth in the constructors' championship - what a year! You might say. Clearly, the successful comeback of Kimi Raikkonen outshone this year much - but not everything ran smoothly at Lotus. The speculation about holes in the till keep on coming and the power curve showed in the second half of the season down - just like last year. The team frittered itself in developing and missed them the opportunity to really big coup. Of the crash antics of Romain Grosjean even to mention. It was definitely a good year for Lotus, but it would be far been possible. Stephan Heublein.

Fonte: Motorsport Magazin

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