It’s disappointing to see that this year’s crop of Formula 1 cars are going to follow their predecessors in being comprehensively beaten by the ugly stick. That is, if the work of Lotus, the first team to show off its 2013 design, is anything to go by.

The Lotus-Renault E21, launched at the team’s base in Oxfordshire yesterday, retains the ungainly stepped ‘duck bill’ front-end treatment that most Formula 1 teams adopted for the first time last year.

To be fair, the Lotus doesn’t look too bad because it carries that striking and evocative black and gold livery, but a quick straw poll of the Autocar office failed to throw up anyone who actually likes the underlying design.