Lotus unveiled the first 2013 F1 car today, their E21. As you can see, it still has the duckbill nose. More importantly, it has the best steering wheel in the world.
The wheel seems specifically designed for gorilla suit enthusiast, part-time javelin hurler, and noted Finn Kimi Räikkönen. Kimi has a penchant for getting lost while racing, mumbling his way to victory, and enjoying a tasty ice cream. This wheel has all of those bases covered and now we really want one for our own car.
As for the car, it's a bit of a disappointment in the visual department because it still looks like a platypus up front.
Lotus's technical director told the media why they didn't add a duckbill-covering cosmetic panel.
We have not done it yet because the cosmetic panel would weigh a few grams and with a Formula 1 car putting a few grams on you don't need to is really anathema to us… However, if we find a cosmetic panel that looks nice, but much more importantly and crucially, develops us a bit of downforce then we'll pop it on as quick as you like.
At least the black/gold (and now red) livery looks good and minimizes the visual travesty that is the duckbill nose.
Here's the steering wheel again in full size. It's amazing.
Photo Credits: Lotus