Running a green-and-gold livery once again, the car features more yellow notes and more prominent Renault signage, in deference to its new engine partner for the 2011 season.
The new car has its rear end supplied by Red Bull Racing, and the high, straight nose section already shown on the Ferrari F10 and the Mercedes GP W02 that have been revealed. By contrast, the T128 sports the split air intake on the engine cover that Mercedes GP seem to have dumped from this year’s car.
With its predecessor having served as a deliberately conservative machine designed to give the outfit credibility on the grid (achieved) and reliability (certainly not achieved), the T128 has adopted a more aggressive design philosophy that the team’s technical director, Mike Gascoyne, believes will propel it up the grid.
“I think that basically this car looks like a front-running car in every area,” he said. “We said very clearly that we want to start challenging the established teams and I think that’s very achievable.”
The drivers seems equally excited about the new car, having endured a difficult, reliability-issue-ridden 2010 season with the outfit’s conservative car.
On the back of the Lotus naming rights issue still wading its way through the courts, team boss Tony Fernandes opted to continue with the traditional naming of the chassis instead of the TL11 that had originally been announced.
“There has been so much has focus off-track it’s a thrill to be able to get back to talking about racing,” Fernandes said.
“The launch of the T128 is a big step forward for Team Lotus and I want to thank the whole team for the amount of hard work that has already gone into T128, and I want to thank Renault and Red Bull Technology for their tremendous support in helping us make this step forward and for being such great team partners.”
The team has confirmed that the T128 will initially run without KERS, but that it could, if necessary, add the power-boosting device later in the season.
“Last year we were just aiming to finish the race. This year we’ll be aiming to finish in the points. With the package we have, that should be achievable,” Jarno Trulli is quoted.
[Original images via Team Lotus]