Renault launch new Lotus Renault R31 single seater 

Written by David on January 31st, 2011 at 1:57 pmLast Update: February 01st, 2011 at 11:50 am

Lotus Renault R31Lotus Renault GP drivers Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov along with test and reserve drivers Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean, Jan Charouz and Fairuz Fauzy, took the wraps off the team’s 2011 F1 car, the Lotus Renault R31.

The Lotus Renault R31 features a new black and gold livery following the partnership deal with Lotus Group.

Lotus Renault R31

What’s new about the R31:

  • No double-decker diffusers
    The FIA have clamped down on the rules governing the floors to prevent the use of double-decker diffusers this year.
  • Longer wheelbase
    Compared to its predecessor, the R31 has a longer wheelbase to help accommodate the reintroduction of KERS.
  • Fixed front wing
    The front wing flap can no longer be adjusted by the driver from the cockpit and remains at a fixed angle while the car is on track.
  • Adjustable rear wing
    2011 sees the arrival of adjustable rear wings, controlled by the driver from the cockpit to aid overtaking. The rules allow the flap to rotate away from the main plane up to a maximum distance of 50mm.
  • Pull rod suspension
    There is a significant revision to the rear suspension, switching from a push rod system to pull rod operated torsion springs. This allowed the team to make better use of the new diffuser rules.
  • Pirelli tyres
    The departure of Bridgestone after 14 seasons ushers in a new era as Pirelli takes on the mantle of sole tyre supplier for the next three years.
  • Smaller engine cover
    The R31 has a smaller engine cover and no shark fin due to new rules preventing bodywork connecting to the rear wing.
  • KERS returns
    KERS is back for 2011 as a cost-effective hybrid power tool recovering energy normally lost under braking and reusing it as an additional power boost to the car.
  • No f-duct
    The major technical innovation of 2010 is no more, since the regulations prohibit any system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics.
  • New steering wheel
    The R31 features a new steering wheel with a revised button layout to make it easier for the drivers to operate the multiple functions.
  • Mandated weight distribution
    All the teams have agreed to run their cars in a particular weight distribution range. That means between 45.5 and 46.5% of the car’s weight must be over the front axle.
  • Improved safety
    Each wheel must now be retained by two tethers (previously there was just one), which must pass down separate legs of the suspension to give more redundancy to the wheel retention. In addition, the zylon panels, attached to the chassis to protect the driver’s upper body, have been extended to offer protection to his legs.

Lotus Renault R31

Lotus Renault R31

Lotus Renault R31 Technical Specifications:

  • Chassis: Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by Lotus Renault GP and designed for maximum strength with minimum weight. RS27-2011 V8 engine installed as a fully-stressed member.
  • Front suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted inside the front of the monocoque. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
  • Rear suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones with pull rod operated torsion springs and transverse-mounted damper units mounted in the top of the gearbox casing. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
  • Transmission: Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear. “Quickshift” system in operation to maximise speed of gearshifts.
  • Fuel system: Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL.
  • Cooling system: Separate oil and water radiators located in the car’s sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car’s forward motion.
  • Electrical: MES-Microsoft Standard Electronic Control Unit.
  • Braking system: Carbon discs and pads; Master cylinders by AP racing and Brembo.
  • Cockpit: Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, with six-point harness seat belt by OMP Racing. Steering wheel integrates gear change and clutch paddles, and rear wing adjuster.
  • KERS: Motor generator unit driving into front of engine with batteries as an energy store. Motor Generator supplied by Renault Sport F1. Electronic control unit by Magneti-Marelli.
  • Front track: 1450 mm
  • Rear track: 1400 mm
  • Overall length: 5100 mm
  • Overall height: 950 mm
  • Overall width: 1800 mm
  • Overall weight: 640 kg, with driver, cameras and ballast

Renault F1 RS27-2011 Engine:

  • Capacity: 2400 cc
  • Architecture: 90° V8
  • Weight: 95 kg
  • Max rpm: 18.000 rpm
  • Fuel: Total
  • Oil: Elf (a brand of TOTAL)
  • Battery: Lotus Renault GP

Images © Renault/LAT

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