Lotus will introduce a Coanda-style exhaust system at the Korean Grand Prix
By William Esler. Last Updated: 09/10/12 4:09pm
Lotus will become the latest team to introduce a Coanda-style exhaust with Technical Director James Allison confirming "the potential gain surpasses that of our current design".
The system follows the designs-traits introduced by McLaren and followed by Ferrari and Mercedes, which uses the Coanda effect of airflow being attracted to nearby surfaces.
The update will be part of major revisions to the rear of the E20 with new coke panels - to help channel the airflow - set to be another noticeably different addition.
"We've been ploughing something of a lonely furrow on the circuit with our relatively straightforward, power-maximising exhaust," Allison said.
"However, since well before the launch of the E20 and to the present day we've been carrying out parallel developments in our wind tunnel programme based around a Coanda effect exhaust.
"Once we saw the potential gain of the Coanda system surpass that of our current design it was clear that we needed to implement it, both for the benefit we could get in the last quarter of this season and also for learning experience it presents us for next year. We will run our first version of this style of exhaust in Korea.
"It is not as big a deal as the 2011 style blown exhausts. Last year (for all teams, but especially for our forward exhausts) it was quite challenging to ensure that the exhausts did not set fire to the car. The Coanda system is a little more indirect, and the jet has cooled a little before it impinges on the floor which makes things a little easier to manage.
"There's still a fair amount of rearrangement including new Coke panels, new exhausts, new exhaust exit panels, some fireproofing of the floor and so on. All told, it's a biggish change rather than an enormous one. It's also easier to swap to and fro for evaluation."
Red Bull became the latest team to race a 'double DRS' system in Singapore, although it did not come to public attention until Japan, whilst Lotus were once again forced to remove theirs after practice in Suzuka.
The team have struggled to fully understand the system since it was introduced at the German Grand Prix in July and the concept will now be put on the back-burner until the young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
"We haven't had the happiest of introductions with the system," the Technical Director said.
"It's been harder than I anticipated to make it switch effectively with only the limited opportunity afforded in Practice. We're going to take it away, have another think and most likely give it another go in the Abu Dhabi young drivers' test where we'll have more time to develop it in a systematic fashion."