NOSE JOB FOR LOTUS: Lotus released images of its new Mercedes-powered E23 F1 car. The team replaced its 'twin-tuck' with a standard nose for 2015. Image: Lotus
LONDON, England - Lotus expects to be far more competitive during 2015 with its new Formula 1 car.
Pictures of the Mercedes-powered E23 were released on its team website with a standard nose replacing the 'twin-tusk' solution that failed to deliver in 2015.
Technical director Nick Chester said the car was "a massive step forward" for the team, which was fourth overall in 2013 but dropped to eighth in 2014 with only 10 points.
Chester added: "It's no secret that we struggled with the 2014 car so we've targeted every area that caused us an issue. We've made strong progress in the wind tunnel and in packaging and cooling. We expect the E23 to perform far, far, better than its predecessor."
Lotus, which has had financial difficulties, switched from Renault to Mercedes power and retained drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Chester said the engine change was likely to bring the biggest performance gain as well as greater reliability and driveability.
He said: "The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we've paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable. We know we've made a big step.
"We won't know how our car will fare in relative terms until we're in a GP but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than in 2014."
Chief executive Matthew Carter said Lotus intended to run the car at the opening pre-season test in Jerez on February 1 2015.
Carter told autosport.com: "There is a huge push to get the car finished but we are on course to be there."
Carter said the team, which has lost some sponsors to Williams, had possibly shed too many staff in 2014 but had rectified the situation.
He said: "Our budget for this year, although reduced from 2013, is similar to that of 2014. We have a couple of new sponsors that, although not featured on the car today, will be there for the first race.
"A lot of the back-office work at the business is producing results, financially we are looking good."
The season will start in Melbourne, Australia, on March 15 2015.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.