Claudio Berro, the former press officer from Ferrari has joined the new Lotus F1 team as sporting director. Berro is one of new FIA president Jean Todt’s closest allies in motorsport, having worked with the Frenchman at Peugeot and Ferrari. More recently he ran the Maserati programme and the Speedcar programme.
He is a very well organised and genial individual. Todt has a lot of respect for his abilities. Although primarily an organiser, Todt gave him the vitally important role of head of communications early in his tenure at Ferrari and Berro managed to stop the leaks and get control of the media relations.
Berro joins Danny Bahar at Lotus, the ex Red Bull marketeer was hired by Todt as head of brand at Ferrari, but left the company earlier this year, following Todt’s departure from the board. He moved to Lotus as group CEO shortly before the FIA announced that Lotus had been granted the 13th place of F1 grid, created by the failure of BMW to sign the new Concorde Agreement.
The new Lotus team is being funded by Malaysians, with Air Asia a prominent backer and a centre of excellence is being established at Sepang, the home of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Todt has very strong links with Malaysia through his wife Michelle Yeoh and has been honoured by the country.
“I am delighted that Claudio is joining us as director of motorsport,” Bahar said on F1.com, “He has a proven track record of not only setting up and managing the motorsport divisions within sportscar brands, but also winning championships in GT racing and rallying. His skills will be very valuable as we look to return Lotus to high level motorsport around the world.”