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  Article Image gallery (12) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2015
Engine type:Hybrid
Predecessor:Lotus E22 Renault
Successor:Renault R.S. 16
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:February 23, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFollowing two successful seasons, the Enstone-based Lotus team had a disastrous 2014. As a result of the success in 2012 and 2013, some key personnel including lead engineers and star-driver Kimi Raikkonen had left the team. What also did not help was that the new-for-2014 Renault power unit was not up to par. In addition to the disappointing results, continuous concerns over the team's financial situation also dampened the mood.

In a quest to bounce back in 2015, the team switched engine suppliers during the winter from Renault to Mercedes-AMG, who unquestionably were a step, or two ahead of the rest in 2014. The hybrid drivetrain was bolted to the new Lotus E23 chassis, which featured a conventional layout with push-rod front and pull-rod rear suspension. As in 2014, an eight-speed, paddle operated gearbox was fitted. Also carried over from the previous year were drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.

It seemed the team was not quite ready for the new season again as it arrived late on the first of three official four-day test sessions. These woes were quickly forgotten and during the second test at Barcelona, the Lotus E23 Hybrid Mercedes topped the time sheets three of the four days. Whether this pre-season performance will be translated in actual results will of course be a whole different matter.

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  Article Image gallery (12) Specifications