Lotus is to become the latest team to introduce Coanda-effect exhausts, with the concept set to be part of the major upgrade package the team is introducing in Korea.
Lotus is pinning hopes of a late-season surge in form on a raft of developments to its E20. The team has revealed that these will include the downwashed exhausts that make use of the Coanda effect – the tendency of a fluid jet to be attracted to a nearby surface. The principle was named after Romanian aerodynamics pioneer Henri Coanda, who was the first to recognize the practical application of the phenomenon in aircraft development. Its application in F1 is to utilize exhaust gases for a boost to the car's aerodynamics.
Technical director James Allison believes the changes for Korea are significant, as the outfit chases its first win of the season to put itself firmly in the hunt for the title.
"The upgrades for Korea are a big step; it is the opening of a new era for us," he explained. "We expect that they are going to work, but of course it's always a difficult task to find the correct setup for the car when you are also evaluating new parts."
Allison said that work on the new exhausts in the wind tunnel highlighted how much performance his team had been missing in not having the concept used by a number of teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Sauber.
"We've been plowing something of a lonely furrow on the circuit with our relatively straightforward, power-maximizing exhaust," he 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 program based around a Coanda effect exhaust.
"Once we saw the potential gain of the Coanda system surpasses 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."
Allison also revealed that the team's double-DRS, which has proved troublesome to get working properly, will now not return to the car until the young driver test that takes places after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"We haven't had the happiest of introductions with the system," he explained. "It's been harder than I anticipated to make it switch effectively with only the limited opportunity afforded in free practice.
"We're going to take it away, have another think and most likely give it another go in the Abu Dhabi young driver test, where we'll have more time to develop it in a systematic fashion."