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Lotus to introduce longer wheelbase E21
Sunday 18th August 2013, 23:59 by Ryan Wood
© Lotus F1 Team, LAT Photographic
Lotus will introduce a longer wheelbase version of their E21 at the Italian Grand Prix in a bid to remain in the fight for the title.
The upgrade will be the last major development on their current car, with Lotus's head of trackside operations, Alan Permane, admitting they will soon shift their focus to 2014.
"You may see a few small upgrades appearing as the races tick away, but I suspect we've witnessed the last of the major overhaul packages," he explained.
The extended wheelbase will see the E21 grow by around twelve centimetres front to rear axle, which has required the car to undergo two further crash tests as per FIA regulation.
The added length will be of particular benefit at Monza where the track layout suits a longer wheelbase, which is one of the reasons for the change.
In addition to that, it will provide a greater area behind the front-wheel to calm the disturbed air before it reaches the sidepods and it pushes the weight distribution back toward the rear axle, thus reducing the wear at the front. That has been particularly high on the Lotus compared to its rivals.
Permane also confirmed other upgrades amid the longer wheelbase: "We've got several updates coming up – both mechanical and aerodynamic – so we're confident of making another step forward."
He also hinted that they would once again trial DDRS, or 'The Device' as Lotus call it, at the Belgian GP this weekend.
"We haven't made a final decision yet as to whether it will be deployed, but we've been conducting a lot of simulation work with the concept to help clarify that decision and there's a good chance we'll see it make an appearance."
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