Tech Bite: Lotus test new front-wing flaps in China
Lotus arrived in China with a new front-wing which featured a different flap design - the new flaps curl over and terminate at a sharp point [yellow].
This not only alters how the pressure gradient builds across the chord of the flaps but also changes the way in which the Y250 vortex is concentrated, which also impacts on how the nose performs.
I suspect the two were designed to work in tandem, with rumours suggesting that Lotus have a new nose design on the horizon as well.
It is easier to design, build and ship the flaps and so these may have arrived ahead of schedule, with the team deciding to test them in isolation, correlating the wings performance against their current design during Free Practice, before racing with them with the new nose design further down the line.