Date: 6th February 2012 at 9:42am
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With the first test of 2012 getting under way tomorrow there will be a flurry of car unveilings over the next 24 hours.

Yesterday was the turn of Lotus, formally Renault, while later today Red Bull Racing, Sauber and Toro Rosso will show off their new toys ahead of the first day of testing in Jerez on Tuesday.

As with the previous launches of Caterham, McLaren, Ferrari and Force India, all eyes were on what the new nose would look like on the Lotus…well, they’ve managed to bridge the gap between the slick look of the McLaren and the ugly ‘broken nose’ designs of the other teams.

The Lotus does have a ridge, but it’s smoother than the likes of Caterham and Ferrari which are remarkably ugly, while the iconic black and gold livery might disguise the unsieghtly bulges like an obsese bloke down the pub in a black shirt and trousers.

BBC Formula 1 technical analyst Gary Anderson told the BBC: The Lotus is probably the nicest-looking ugly duckling so far. Although it still has the lumps on either side of the top of the chassis, at least the top surface slopes down gradually.

Lotus of course are more interested in how the car performs rather than how it looks and they are hoping with the help of 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, that they can clinch a top four place in the Formula 1 constructors championship, which one would assume would be behind the likes of the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari teams, but ahead of Mercedes, who they finished 92-points behind last season.

‘We hope to have a strong car, and have strong drivers, one of which is of course an ex-world champion. We hope to bring the car up to the front of the pack and probably try to aim for fourth as a reasonable goal for this season.’ Lotus team co-owner Gerard Lopez told Autosport Magazine.

That target is also shared by Lotus team boss Eric Boullier who added ‘Obviously 2012 is very welcome after a poor 2011 and very hectic year, It’s clear we’ve maintained our ambition on track and we want to carry on the full restructuring, progress and change that we started one year ago. We now have a clear target.

‘We know that we have a strong commitment from our shareholders, that we want to be a top team and seen as a top team. 2012 will be the year of our final adjustment to be ready and fully operational from 2013 with an ambitious plan.

‘For 2012 we expect to be in a position to fight for fourth place for the championship.’


The Lotus Formula One Team’s launch video can be viewed on their YouTube channel.

 

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