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Lotus to get Renault engines and gearboxes for two years
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Lotus to get Renault engines and gearboxes for two years
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Sep 2010   |  10:10 am GMT  |  97 comments

The Lotus Formula 1 team is making some bold moves forward as it nears the end of its first season in Formula 1.

The team, established exactly one year ago by Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian music to airlines entrepreneur and F1 engineer Mike Gascoyne, will soon be renamed Team Lotus and this weekend it inked a deal with Renault for a technical collaboration involving two years supply of engines, gearboxes and KERS system.

Lotus are teaming up with Renault (Darren Heath)


The technical deal is similar to the one Force India enjoys with McLaren Mercedes. For a small team to get the entire drive train from an established front runner is a guaranteed boost to performance and reliability.

When Force India made the switch for 2009, they immediately moved up from the back of the grid and even took pole and challenged for the win in the Belgian Grand Prix. Typically in 2008 they were 1.7secs to 2 secs off the pace. A year later they were around 1sec off the pace early in the season and ended it 0.5 sec off.

This step, which may even involve closer ties than just the technical partnership, will give Lotus a proven package around which they can finesse the aerodynamics and move up the field to challenge Sauber, Toro Rosso and maybe others next season. It is a strong challenge to Virgin Racing and Hispania.

There has been no official statement yet, but the deal is done.

Fernandes said on the BBC yesterday,
“Lots of negotiations have gone on over the last couple of weeks and we’re very happy with the outcome. We want to move up the grid and we want to be up there with the Red Bulls and Ferraris in years to come – we’re not going to do that overnight but we’ve got to make those constant steps forwards.”

This season Lotus, like all the new teams, has been using Cosworth engines and suffered greatly with reliability problems around the gearbox and hydraulics provided by Xtrac.

The Cosworth engine has been pretty reliable and has steadily improved through the year – in its most serious test so far at Monza, a Cosworth engined car was 9th fastest through the speed trap at 341km/h, comparable with the Renault engined cars.


The other breakthrough has been that Fernandes has managed to acquire the rights to the name Team Lotus from David Hunt, brother of 1976 world champion James. This will allow them to use the original Lotus logo, with Colin Chapman’s initials in it, and has other heritage benefits.

The team will be able to claim a direct connection with the Team Lotus which raced from 1958 to 1994, winning 79 races and six constructors’ championships. It is brand with a strong racing pedigree, evoking memories of great drivers like Jim Clark and Mario Andretti and it will be interesting to see how Fernandes leverages it in Asia and developing markets.

What has been pleasing about the way Lotus have conducted themselves this year is that they have made some strong moves, like hiring experienced drivers and now the Renault deal and the rebranding to Team Lotus, but have done so in a humble way, acknowledging the fact that they are new kids on the block.

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  1. Christos Pallis says:

    There is something very likeable about Lotus. Of all the new teams they seem by far the one with the most realistic chance of sucess. Mike Gascoyne did great things at Jordan and also at Toyota until the board started messing around with what was best left to Mike. I feel the Renault deal is likley to help them eclipse the Virgin and HRT cars next year and should thrust them properly into the fold. From what i hear none of the 3 new teams are even running a seemless shift gear box, or even one that works 50% of the time ?!

    Tony and Mike have done a cracking job this year, even if they don’t win the new team battle for 10th place i think they have won the respect of the grid! They have atleast won mine

    1. Dave Roberts says:

      I agree entirely with your comments and think they carry a lot of good will from the F1 community. I wish them every success.

      One thing that puzzles me though James. Why couldn’t Tony Fernandes confirm the purchase of the name and also the Renault engine supply on BBC yet you have been able to make this post and the BBC posted about the engine change immediately after the race?

    2. Darren says:

      For a start I was not too impressed with the use of the Lotus name I thought it would be another case of the abuse of the Brabham name.

      However I think Tony and his team have gone about it in a very decent and humble way.

      They have been very respectful and clever with their use of the Lotus name.

      They are embracing the history and legacy of the original Team Lotus but also acknowledging that they are a new team and have to prove themselves. I also think their is genuine passion for the Lotus name and they do not want to damage that name (mind you the name was damaged anyway when they fell off the back of the grid in the early 90s).

      So all in all they have gone about it in a very clever way, they have assembled a good solid team, they have secured a good solid technical platform for next year and good luck to them.

      I think Cosworth will be a little disappointed. The Cosworth engine seems to be fairly decent, it certainly has some speed in the back of the Williams anyway and they were quick at Monza which has to be the biggest engine test of the year.

    3. RickeeBoy says:

      Tony,
      I have watched F1 for 50 years and you have done a superb job in an honest, humble, hard working and very likeable way since you have arrived in F1. Since the first time I saw you speak on TV you’ve exuded an air of the Professional and utterly respectable entrepreneur. I personally have supported you from day one and I hope you are involved in F1 for many years, you are a massive asset. Considering your first year I’m amazed but yet I’m not …. It was a little obvious that you were that good.

      Good Luck – You have some real fans – Bigger and better will be coming. Congratulations on the Renault deal and the name, you and your team deserve it.
      Rick

  2. Stuey says:

    This could be a good move for lotus. Another reason they gave on bbc for not being fast this year was they were putting in margins so they would be reliable. But they gave been let down in that regard. I don’t think there is anything particulary wrong with the cosworth as williams have used it to good effect this season. And red bull have shown that its not all about the engine, a lower power unit can still be part of the best car.
    As an aside this will give the 4 engine manufacturers 3 teams to supply each providing there are no other changes before next year. Any news of how this change will affect cosworths income james? Wasn’t the deal for 5 mil a year for the teams? Will cosworth lose that or will other teams pick up the cost? I guess contracts are in place but didn’t cosworth need a certain number of teams to make it economically viable? And lotus didn’t want the cosworth in the 1st place did they?

    1. Tim Horton says:

      Cosworth is now a very diversified company, and i think they generate most of their income from defense work now. I dont think 5 million a year is going to effect them too badly.

  3. F1-Tips says:

    Great to see the old logo back on the block.

  4. Matt says:

    It seems like all the new teams have been having gearbox and particularly hydraulic issues. Perhaps the other new teams would be better off contracting Williams to provide the drivetrain for them, if they were willing, and get rid of the xtrac units.

    BTW wasn’t the xtrac unit the one Max Mosley wanted to be the standard for all the teams? Not sure that would have been for the best.

    1. Banjo says:

      It would have made for interesting races. All the drivers running around the track to compete for glory as their cars have all broken down!

  5. Nick Young says:

    One thing I don’t understand – I’ve read in several places now how Cosworth are improving their engine throughout the season – I thought there was an engine development freeze? How are they managing to improve? Are they exempt from the freeze somehow?

    1. James Allen says:

      There are things you can do outside of the sealed elements.

    2. Jeremy Hunt says:

      One of the comments made by Cosworth earlier in the year was that they didn’t have the data on the circuits to “optimise” their engine Mapping. I think as they visit the circuits the knowledge gained helps them with the ECU.

  6. Kirk says:

    Of the 3 new teams Lotus is the only one I warmed to, they have done a great job in bringing back some of the original team’s magic, even if we all know they are totally separate things. They have good drivers, techincal staff and seem very engaged with the fans through events, twitter etc – something Virgin has done to a much smaller extent, while HRT simply have not. They act like a proper F1 team, while the other 2 act like upgraded GP2 outfits. With Renault power they should improve a lot next season, nice move for them.

  7. PaulL says:

    Personally I don’t see why they needed to cast themselves under this Lotus disguise. I find it offensive since they possess no residual essence of the real team Lotus. They didn’t need to go that route and I reject them using the Lotus name for personal gain.

    That’s all I see it amounting to, same as the parasites who were trying to use the Brabham name in the same way. In the absence of an authentic revival these hallow guernseys should stay retired.

    1. TM says:

      Although I really quite like the team and always want them to do well, I do agree with you 100%.
      But hey-ho there are more important things in the world!

    2. Rick J says:

      I don’t agree with you. I think it is great to see the continuation of these epochal names because it cements Formula 1′s present to a past fully worthy of continued remembrance and reflection. In Lotus’s case, Tony Fernandes has gone to great lengths to legitimise his team with the Chapman family and Lotus’s original legacy.

      A parallel can be drawn. In Europe they go to great trouble preserving the exterior of old buildings to maintaine the essential character and richness of a culture. This becomes more understandable if you live in North America for a while.

      1. Banjo says:

        A nice analogy. And i do agree with you, Lotus have gone to great lengths to establish ties with the original team. It’s important to continue the heritage of the sport and i believe they’re doing this in a respectable way. If they manage to beat Torro Rosso’s and Saubers next year, and possibly score a few points then i think Chapman would be proud of what his team in it’s new guise has achieved in such a short amount of time.

        I would much rather see teams like Lotus on the grid, restoring heritage, and history to the sport than completely new teams. I’m sure many people would agree, even if they aren’t convinced by the history a name brings.

      2. Mike Misgerett says:

        As much as I loved the lotus team and it’s drivers of years past, I simply can’t get myself to regard the Malaysian team as anything linked to the original other than by name or logo. And I fail to see the logic in what can only be pretence. I fail to understand how: “… Tony Fernandes has gone to great lengths to legitimise his team with the Chapman family and Lotus’s original legacy.” Did he pay enough? Has the New Lotus shown creative innovations or anything that could be referred to as ‘original legacy’? It’s a brand new team for goodness sake, it’s unfair even to expect it!
        It’s such a shame that when a new country eventually join F1, they find it necessary to buy a badge of a team that now exists in (very fond) memory only.

      3. TM says:

        Hmm… but I don’t think your parallel is quite parallel though.

        A corrected parallel would be if the historical building had been pulled down completely, and then someone had come along some years later and built a different building (not even on the same site I might add), for the same line of business, and called it the same name

        :o)

    3. Richard M says:

      You could say the same about the Renault and Mercedes Race teams?

      1. PaulL says:

        Well no a 15% stake from the parent company and the same staff is more than adequate carry-overton draw a connection.

        Mercedes likewise has parent company backing.

      2. malcolm.strachan says:

        Still, how is it any different then?

        Lotus F1 is funded by Proton, who owns Lotus Cars. Same deal. Now they just have the final piece of the puzzle, which is the name “Team Lotus”. It’s no different than Mercedes buying Brawn, Renault buying Benetton, Honda buying BAR, etc, etc.

        If a 15% stake is all that’s needed, Proton/Lotus Cars has that criterion covered.

      3. Mike Misgerett says:

        No you couldn’t really, it’s the other way round: Both Mercedes and Renault are large going concerns with a formidable history in F1.
        And they have both owned their brand from inception, Mercedes even registering the first ever motor car.
        Lotus F1 or Team Lotus, in it’s current guise, is really nothing more than brand new in (a bought) old brand.

      4. malcolm.strachan says:

        How is Mercedes any different? They just bought Brawn and put their logo on the car. Their only involvement is the engine, which is no different than last year. It’s not like Mercedes took some engineers off the SLS project and said “ok, go build an F1 chassis/design a new front wing/etc”

        Personally I think Lotus F1 is more reflective of the old Team Lotus than Mercedes GP is of the silver arrows of the 1950′s.

    4. Geordie Porker says:

      Sorry, but that’s utter rubbish!

      Ferrari aren’t the team they were in the 70s/80s because there’s none of the same personnel, none of the sponsors are the same, the only thing they’ve kept is the red colour.

      Same argument for McLaren, Williams, Mercedes etc etc.

      Lotus is a name which was synonymous with technical development and achievement, the ‘new’ Team Lotus (if you want) is trying to do the same thing, but they’ve got to build up a technical team in the same way that Williams have done over the last few years – and they never left the sport.

      So let them be and accept them in the way that Chapman’s son has done. For pity’s sake if he can accept them, surely you can?

      1. Werner says:

        I am so sorry but what you write about Ferrari is nonsens ! It is the only F1 team that has always carried on. They had good times and bad times but were always there. They ARE formula one and without them it would be not the same anymore. The Lotus team has done quite a good job this year; they were the best NEW team but far behind the others. They created big expectations but to be honnest, I was quite disappointed. They are trying to compare themselves to Ferrari by letting the world know it is their 500th race… This was ridiculous. It is, for me, like showing off with the neighbour’s boat…
        I am happy the name is back but I believe that at the moment Mr. Fernandes must, taking into acccount the results, a different, humble attitude and not show off with other man’s legacy.

    5. Werner says:

      I totally agree with you. Celebrating the 500th race had nothing to do with humility, on the contrary ! I give them the benefit of the doubt but it will not be as obvious as they believe.

    6. packapoo says:

      With you all the way there PaulL.
      Taking on the name does NOT legitimise this outfit.

      1. Bevan says:

        “Heritage”,a large part of the modern F1 audience wouldn’t even know who C Chapman is,or was,or the amazing groundbreaking innovations he created,& heritage doesn’t seem to be much of a priority to FOM & the FIA,every new Tilke borefest that replaces a circuit with some history is testament to that so the heritage angle is strictly for the individuals opinion.One piece of heritage I hope they lose is those hideous yellow wheel rims,they may have been de rigueur back in the swinging 60′s but IMO they just look cheap in this era.Its a good thing their Renault arrangement though,I’m rapt for them.

  8. JamesF1 says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if Hispania manage to get the finance together to being the Toyota partnership that is on the cards – if they do then Virgin could be left alone at the back next season.

  9. Ronald Ooms says:

    Very pleased for them indeed. I hope they do well as I always liked Lotus. It was the first team I followed in F1. I started watching at the age of 8 in 1987.
    You were a little to quick typing your story James. You wrote: “David Hunt, brother of 1976 world champion David” As you are well aware, he had the same name as you: James.

    Kind regards

  10. Guilherme says:

    Hello James,

    This is completely off-topic, but Ferrari has launched last week a public F1 simulator: reactions so far seem very good and the game has huge visuals and dynamics, besides being very realistic. Do you know something about the reasons behind it? It’s just a one-off or the beginning of something bigger?

    Here is a link with photos and a video: http://www.virtualr.net/ferrari-virtual-academy-2010-mini-review-previews/

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t know much about it, but I’ll find out. I’ve got a video piece on simulators coming up

      1. DK says:

        If this is true, I bet you will soon see some in Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari Theme Park.

      2. Drez says:

        Has work started on that again…Last I heard the project was on ‘hold’?

    2. Andy Carr says:

      I know this is crazy but what if:

      Ferrari will gather setup data from all of the people that play online. All of the different tweaks and setups. If it really is an accurate simulation, then could Ferrari not look at the car setup data of the Fastest laps and use that data on their cars???

  11. James says:

    James, please – it’s KERS, not KERS system!

    KERS = Kinetic Energy Recovery System
    KERS system = Kinetic Energy Recovery System system

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAS_syndrome

    Thanks for the interesting articles :)

    1. TM says:

      I’m more of a fan of KER’S
      lol!

      1. David Hodge says:

        Actually, I quite fancy a glass of KIR

    2. Steve Earle says:

      who kers! Soz couldn’t resist ;-)

      1. Christos Pallis says:

        HA HA good one!

  12. johnnyboy says:

    this sounds very promising for lotus! when the f1 season started i wasn’t too bothered about any the new teams that much, but as the races went on something attracted me to lotus, a very likeable team which i think has earned much respect and its place in the paddock. i can see a bigger and brighter futrure in the sport for them, lets hope this change is the launch pad they need! i’m also hoping heikki or jarno can secure them the 10th spot they need this season, and as for next year i see points on the board, although that is me being ever the optimist!

  13. Andy Fov says:

    I’m another fan of Tony and Mike. Tony won me over at the Fans Forum. I’d like to see them enjoy the same success with Renault that Williams and Bennetton did in the 90s.

    Just so long as the synergy doesn’t go too far. I’m not too sure I’m that keen to see a blinged up Lotus variant of the Kangoo on the roads anytime soon.

  14. Jeroen says:

    Great for lotus and F1

    Makes me wonder though what Williams will do. Don’t think they will move up the ranks if they stick with cosworth but doubt they will get a deal now with Renault too and merc already said they won’t supply further teams. Can’t see them ever getting ferarri so what can they do??

    Also could mean cosworth is bit doomed if all they do is supply lowest ranked teams.

    1. James Allen says:

      They are still with Williams next year

      1. Mark Vincent says:

        It’s an interesting situation. My feeling is that the Williams/Cosworth tie-up will develop similar to the Ferrari/Bridgestone situation where the tyres were bespoke for the Scuderi and the others had to adapt. Potentially Williams will have increasing input over the Cosworth power unit and it will, in effect, be a custom made engine for their chassis and the other customers will have to accept it.

      2. jonrob says:

        Unfortunately Cosworth will not sell enough F1 engines to be a viable business, I am a bit surprised that they released the contacts with 2 years to go. Most certainly the break even point will not be reached.
        I foresee Cosworth knocking F1 on the head.

      3. James Allen says:

        Well there was a buyout, clearly

    2. Lockster says:

      well they did put in that letter of support for Ferarri at the FIA hearing, so who knows…

  15. peter says:

    Hooray! Great news for Lotus. They all seem such nice people, Tony Fernandez was great on the BBC Forum at Monza & I always look forward to hearing Mike Gascoyne as you won’t get a load of ‘media speak’.
    Both Kovalainen & Trulli seem to be very happy with the set-up, looking forward to the 2011 car.

    TEAM LOTUS again, who would have thought it!

  16. F1Maniac says:

    Awesome news, of all the new teams I think Lotus are by far the best placed to make a real success of their team and seem to have the best long term future.

    They have brought in experienced drivers and have a highly regarded design team headed by Mike Gascoyne. With Renault power next season I expect them to be harrying the likes of Mercedes if they not careful :-)

  17. Andy C says:

    This is excellent news. The way Lotus have conducted themselves this year has been excellent.

    I have to admit the main reason for me following F1 originally was because of the time i sat in Nigel Mansells lotus at a very early age on the isle of wight (I still have the picture with me in his car and him sitting on the side).

    It is great to see the name revived (thats what F1 is all about) and everything they are working towards is designed to live up to the name.

    I dont think the fact that it has malaysian backing has any bearing on it.

    Ferrari is now not independant, McLaren is also funded by Qatari interests to some extent. Its all about globalisation of funding isnt it.

    I am just happy to see a great name coming back to F1 in such a positive way.

    Having another brand parked in storage is completely pointless and I’m sure the Chapman family will be happy to see it back.

    James,
    wasnt Lotus powered by Renault in the turbo days (I have to apologise, I was a little young at the time to remember fully).

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, you are right. Senna drove a Lotus Renault

      1. Mark Vadnais says:

        James,

        What do you hear about Bruno Senna and Petrobras at Team Lotus Renault in 2011?

        Thanks,
        Mark

      2. James Allen says:

        Well I heard Petrobras at Lotus some time ago. I think it’s got some legs, not least as a business to business deal for Air Asia jet fuel.

  18. mtb says:

    JAMES ALLEN

    Do you have any idea what the relative power levels of the Cosworth and Renault are?

    As you point out, a Cosworth-engined car was fast through the speed traps – much to the chagrin of Webber!

  19. Tomek says:

    Any rumours that for this super technical stuff that Renault will provide Lotus with, Renault will add for example Petrov in exchange for Kovalainen?
    What are your thoughts James regarding the position of Petrov within the team?

    the second question may be a little off topic, but I can’t find a better place to ask it.

    1. Ed says:

      Yes, as soon as I heard rumours of that, I thought it may be a logical move.

      Petrov gets time to improve with less pressure, and Renault gets the more consistent driver.

      Alternatively, Renault could take Trulli for a swansong year before taking Petrov back in 2012. Kovalainen would want a longer contract presumably, which could limit the deal.

      1. Tomek says:

        Regarding Kovalainen, you definitely have a point. But still I don’t think Renault would want to take Trulli. In my opinion Heikki is for Renault a far more prospective driver

  20. Chris Neale says:

    Getting the car designated as a T127 was the first coup – now having the ACBC badge goes even further in making the team ‘Lotus’. I’m sure the cynics will still carp on about exploiting a name etc but I think Tony & Mike have gone about it in a very proper manner. Look forward to a push up the grid with the new complete engine/gearbox package next year!

  21. Rob says:

    Now get rid of Trulli and get somebody of use to the team

  22. luca says:

    I’m italian Lotus fan and I have fear to lose one more time team lotus in f1 competitions: what is the probability that Lotus cars obliges tony fernandez renunce to the Lotus name???
    Thank…

  23. Severian says:

    James, there is an intriguing “point score” that is hard to find information on: the constructor standings for the three, currently, non-scoring teams in 10th to 12th place. I understand 10th receives a sizable purse, and judging by most website listings Lotus seems to be number 10 at present? How is this non-score calculated and how close is this little duel-within-a-duel down the back of the grid?
    Another “point score” that becomes fascinating at this time of the year is the number of fresh engines each driver has left – Alonso is rumoured to be very low?

    1. Stuey says:

      It’s done on best position. Lotus are 10th as their best result so far is 13th. HRT have scored 2x 14th places and Virgin have a 14th place, putting them last. Assuming Lotus don’t score higher than 13th again, the other two teams could beat them if they scored a 12th place or if Lotus don’t get another 13th, the other 2 teams could move ahead by scoring 2 or more 13th places before the end of the season. If they tie on best result, it counts back to the next best result to see who has got more.

      You can see all driver results here

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/statistics/f1-2010-statistics/

      Alsono took his 8th engine in Monza, but has only used his 7th for one race as well. Choose “engine cycle” on the following link to see complete engine usage for each driver

      http://www.vivaf1.com/engine.php

      1. colm says:

        Great informative link, ty.
        On this basis Webber is looking pretty handy, of the drivers running for the championship.

  24. colm says:

    James, do you think that they are moving because of the Kers element of the package? What are Cosworth supplying in this respect?

    1. James Allen says:

      No. I think it’s the whole technical package, engine, gearbox etc which is attractive.

  25. Robert Lujan says:

    This is great to hear. It is funny that the moment Lotus announced that they would not be using Cosworth power (which they were forced to in order to compete by the way) every F1 site said that it meant they were leaving F1…. I am glad to see that J.A. at least does some background check on the rumours he gets and reports. Thanks again James!

  26. Rick J says:

    This is great news – I will have to resurrect my old Renault engined Lotus Europa that has been languishing in the back of the shed for the last 25 or so years!

    1. RickeeBoy says:

      Those things were not just small but tiny …. it took me 5 min to squeeze my 6’3″ in to it and I still have the bite marks on my knees and flat head to prove it … The question is …. Will the salad dodging allow you to get into it again ??? ( How strange … the one I got into was in the Gold Leaf ( cigarette) colours …. How un PC .. would you be prosecuted these days driving it round without a big warning notice on it … LOL. )

  27. Mark Whittam says:

    Although it may seem a bit of a cheap trick to simply buy the Team Lotus brand from David Hunt, it should be borne in mind that both of the current drivers have been to Hethel driving versions of the current road cars (certainly the Evora at least). It is a shame that the Team Lotus name wasn’t used after some more obvious involvement of the factory, but who knows what may happen in the future.

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      Like Mercedes and Renault? How many engineers from either company have done anything beyond engine work for the team?

      BMW, Toyota and Ferrari were realistically the only ones that were true factory teams (perhaps Honda, but even then, the BAR bones were still there).

  28. luca says:

    James do you think that F1 will lose Lotus name, the next year? In other words it is possible that Prton will oblige Tony Fernandez to renounce to Lotus brand?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, the opposite. He’s got the rights to Team Lotus, so he’s entitled to the history that comes with it.

  29. michael grievson says:

    I hope they do well. I think it shows how serious lotus are. I’ve never thought virgin was a serious team. In fact I had a bet with my wife that Branson will abandon F1 in less than two years

    1. RickeeBoy says:

      Yip, we’ve seen it all before, I’ll join you with a fiver. The wife had better start hedgeing !!

  30. Banjo says:

    What great news. It really looks like Lotus is a team very much on the up. I would be surprised if they weren’t consistently beating Torro Rosso next year, as with a great design team behind them, and a proven drive terrain from Renault the drivers will have everything they need to take the fight forwards. Very exciting times for Team Lotus.

  31. mtb says:

    JAMES ALLEN

    What is your view on the use of the Team Lotus name?

    There are many who believe that the name died with Chapman.

    Fernandes’ team probably has as much right to use the name as the outfit circling around the mid-field and below two decades ago.

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      Did Ferrari’s die with the passing of Enzo? Sure, they had some tough years following his death, but they came back.

      What’s to say some kid in Formula Ford now isn’t going to end up joining Team Lotus in 2018 and make the team virtually invincible (similar to Schumacher’s involvement in Ferrari)?

      1. Werner says:

        After Enzo had passed away, the team was still there at the same place, with the same people. This is rubbish ! There is only one team that was always at Formula one and that is Ferrari. AFter all they do build the engine, gearbox, chassis and so… Nobody else did the same ! Do you believe that when, Demontezemolo will pass away, the team will not be the same team anymore ?
        Fur sure Enzo was Ferrari and Collin Chapman was Lotus but Ferrari has never stopped producing F1 cars and production cars.

      2. malcolm.strachan says:

        You completely missed my point. Ferrari didn’t die with Enzo’s passing, nor did Lotus die with Champman’s passing. Same with the passing of Ken Tyrell and Bruce McLaren; the team lived on and after several ups and downs, and a few changes here and there, have come back to achieve success.

        Ferrari kept the same passion after Enzo died, but they just became less competitive for a while. They brought on Berger, who brought Jean Todt. They then hired Schumacher, who brought Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne along. This definitely changed who was in charge, changed how the people worked, and they went from being mediocre to battling for championships again.

        Lotus went through a similar phase. After Chapman died, the team began to fall off. They gradually lost competitiveness. Unlike Ferrari, they didn’t resurrect themselves in time, and closed. Now new management has come along, with new people, and they are trying to bring the team back.

        Both teams have had major changes in management and engineering, with Ferrari’s happening more gradually than Lotus, due to the nature of the team closing and restarting.

        Personally, I see major parallels here, and I could see Lotus regaining the form it had back in Champman’s days, much like Ferrari is enjoying successes similar to during Enzo’s reign.

    2. Lockster says:

      Mate, what’s with the “JAMES ALLEN”??

  32. Peter says:

    Is the Lotus team registered as a British team or is it still actually Malaysian which seems a bit silly.

  33. Tyler says:

    I thought it particularly telling to the atmosphere at Lotus when Fernandes was seen smiling and laughing while giving high fives and handshakes to the crew in the garage after qualifying. What a contrast to over serious corporate shadow that seems to loom over most of the F1 garage. Refreshing…im a fan.

  34. Nick Pauro says:

    I havent had a lot of time etc for the new teams so far but good on lotus and their team…. great job and good luck to them!!

  35. luca says:

    Thanks very much James, I waited for the return of Team Lotus since 1994, in my opinion the most cool brand in F1 history! More than Ferrari…

  36. Drez says:

    James

    In ’03 Group Lotus (Proton) tried to get their hands on the ‘Team Lotus’ trademarks by using the ‘non-use’argument.

    David Hunt managed to keep them due to his supposed efforts in trying to enter F1, just!

    Considering another 7 years of ‘non-use’ have passed, do you know if this has any bearing on the deal with Tony Fernandes getting a deal.

    What I mean is if David didn’t allow the the name to be used then he would probably lose it anyway under the Trademarks rules anyway?

    1. Rob says:

      Group Lotus are trying to get them again, which probably moved things along

  37. Fnordsrus says:

    Its great to hear the Lotus name on the grid. The purchase of the whole drivetrain will certainly be a considerable boost. Well done chaps.

  38. Luca says:

    James I have a question: how is the real power difference between renault, mercedes and coswhort?
    Renault saids that the distance from Mercedes is about 40 hp, it’s admissible?
    And how many hp Lotus will gain with renault?

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t think it’s that much.

  39. rubens deserves at least one more win before he retires,a little compensation for letting schumacher win some races

  40. AdrianP says:

    Shame for Cosworth to lose a customer – Lotus Cosworth was very evocative, even more so than Lotus Renault, I think, despite that also having a famous heritage.

    Lots of people have said nice things about the Cosworth engine and it’s plainly been reliable and reasonably competitive on performance. I got the impression from Fernandez’ interview that it’s perhaps the whole gearbox-engine package that Lotus more attractive (with emphasis on words *gearbox* and *package*).

  41. luca says:

    James it is possible that the original brand (with initial ACBC) will appare on T-127 cars during 2010 F1 season?

  42. S2K says:

    Renault engine and the other stuff clearly means a huge step forward for Lotus. Well done to them.

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