Lotus in surprise E22 reveal just hours after Eric Boullier's departure announced
Enstone team show off car - and dramatic two-pronged nose - within moments of McLaren MP4-29 launch
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 24/01/14 3:46pm
In an move that appears to have been designed to steal the launch thunder of rivals McLaren just hours after Eric Boullier's sudden departure was confirmed ahead of an anticipated switch to Woking to replace Martin Whitmarsh, the Enstone team published a picture of the E22 on Twitter moments after their rivals' long-confirmed MP4-29 unveiling on Friday.
The E22 car itself has also produced plenty of immediate intrigue as it features a different front nose design to those seen on the 2014 cars revealed so far.
Two protruding pillars - essentially a double nose - slope down over the front wing, whereas on the two cars seen from the front so far, the McLaren MP4-29 and Williams FW36, there are just single sections at the tip.
With the car retaining the same black, gold and red livery of recent seasons, logos from Venezuelan oil firm PDVSA also appear for the first time following Pastor Maldonado's winter arrival from Williams.
Although Lotus have become the latest team to release teaser images of their car, the E22 won't officially be launched until the first of the Bahrain tests in mid-February after the team opted to skip next week's opening four-day session at Jerez.
Despite losing their highly-regarded Team Principal on the eve of one of the most important winter testing seasons in years, Lotus co-chairman Gerard Lopez, who will dovetail his boardroom role with Boullier's former duties, insisted on Friday that the team would prosper in 2014.
"Lotus F1 Team has never stood still and we head into what promises to be an exciting 2014 season with an innovative new car, new partners and a new management structure at Enstone," Lopez said.
"Great things have been achieved over the past years and we need to continue this momentum."
Meanwhile, in a further apparent illustration of the team's feelings towards McLaren and additional giveaway as to Boullier's Woking-bound destination, Lotus tweeted:
Exclusive behind the scenes pic of Eric Boullier's leaving present. Something to read before the season starts... pic.twitter.com/j9dAE6eWG6- Lotus F1 Team (@Lotus_F1Team) January 24, 2014