Posted on April 19, 2013


Kimi Raikkonen continued his strong start to the season and highlighted Lotus’ position as front runners for this weekend by topping the time sheets in Friday’s Free Practice, ahead of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. It looks like being an extremely competitive weekend between the Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull teams, while Mercedes look to be struggling with tyre management. With much of the afternoon being spent on longer runs and race simulations, the front-runners took their only medium tyre run in the opening half an hour of the afternoon. And it was Raikkonen who found the largest improvement switching More…

Posted on March 1, 2013


Romain Grosjean made up for a poor first day of testing yesterday to top the times on the second day in Barcelona, ahead of Jenson Button and Pastor Maldonado. It was another day of mixed conditions as rain fell overnight and continued through to this morning, offering another opportunity to run the intermediate and wet tyres and gain a clearer picture of the perfect cross over point on to slick tyres. And this cross-over point occurred an hour prior to the lunch break, when the majority of teams took the chance to cover some dry miles beneath a threatening sky. More…

Posted on February 8, 2013


Kimi Raikkonen ensured Lotus became the only team to top the times on two days at Jerez as the Finn set the pace on an extended final day, which required a long break to fix a pot-hole. The fourth and final day at Jerez had to be extended due to the appearance of a pot-hole between Turns 10 and 11, which caused a fifty minute delay and required quick-drying cement. To compensate, the teams were given an extra half an hour of testing time. Raikkonen set the second fastest time of the week to narrowly deny Force India’s Reserve Driver More…

Posted on February 6, 2013


Romain Grosjean continued Lotus’ strong form during this week’s first winter test by topping the times of Day 2 at Jerez, as the teams piled on the mileage, some covering around 100 laps while Lewis Hamilton’s opening day at Mercedes came to an abrupt end due to a brake failure. Hamilton had completed just fifteen laps this morning and had just done a lap in the 1m 19.5s, when a hydraulic brake line at the back caused him to run straight on at the Dry Sack hairpin and lightly in to the barriers. The back-straight leading in to Dry Sack More…

Posted on February 7, 2012


As the first official pre-season test of 2012 kicked off today in Jerez Renault Sport F1 have been busy, adding a fourth team Williams to their roster of customer teams along with Caterham, Lotus and the works outfit, Red Bull. This year will see Renault’s 35th year of competition in Formula One, producing ten Constructors’ titles and nine driving titles, and they will be hoping that the RS27 will bring more glory with Red Bull this season. Having added another new team to their supply for two consecutive years Renault Sport will feel assured that they can continue to improve More…

Posted on April 25, 2011


The battle over the use of the name Lotus in F1 is in a holding pattern at the moment as the two sides wait for the judge, who heard the case last month at the High Court in London, to deliver his judgement. This will probably come in the next couple of weeks. But in the last few days, stories have emerged of what Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes’ next move is likely to be. On Wednesday 27th April he is holding a press conference at Duxford aerodrome, near Cambridge to announce a new business venture and both Reuters and More…

Posted on January 25, 2011


As we are counting down to the launches of the new cars, with Ferrari at the end of this week and most of the other teams at the start of next week, I thought it would be good to investigate an area that is central to the “look” of a new car, but is often overlooked – the livery. When we see a new car we see the livery – and quickly get used to it as an identifier on TV – but don’t necessarily take in how it was designed, what it aims to achieve and so on. And More…

Posted on January 24, 2011


The application for summary judgement in the London High Court today in the dispute between Group Lotus and Team Lotus failed, but it has brought forward the actual hearing, so both sides have won and lost something today. Wanting to get the confusion over Lotus in F1 sorted before the start of the season, Group Lotus brought about the application for summary judgement, something that can be achieved in a week or so and which, if successful, means that the judge dismisses the case because the evidence is so open and shut. That did not happen today, which is a More…

Posted on January 17, 2011


Following on from Friday’s activity in the Lotus saga – where the Renault team together with its sponsor and shareholder Group Lotus took a big presence at the Autosport Show and launched the F1 livery, while rival Team Lotus rebranded its factory – today there have been more developments. Group Lotus CEO Danny Bahar has said this weekend that he does not believe that the dispute between the two will end up in court, but when I put that to Team Lotus CEO Riad Asmat this afternoon he said that it was now certain that the F1 season will start More…

Posted on January 13, 2011


Today we had the official unveiling of the new black and gold livery by the Renault team, now sponsored by Group Lotus. And with amazing timing, this evening the other Lotus, now known as Team Lotus, has put out a provocative video on You Tube of the rebranding of its HQ at Hingham with the classic Team Lotus logo and colour scheme. Just before Christmas Hazel and Clive Chapman, the widow and son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, issued a statement saying that they no longer support the efforts of Tony Fernandes’ team and do not wish him to call More…

Posted on December 16, 2010


Tony Fernandes has reacted angrily to comments made at a media briefing yesterday by Group Lotus CEO Danny Bahar and has said that there is now no chance of a deal being struck between the shareholders of his 1 Malaysia operation and Group Lotus, which is owned by Proton. Speaking to me on the phone from Manila this morning he said of Bahar’s allegation that his demands for a deal were three times the cost of the Renault sponsorship, “It’s just not true. I can confirm categorically that there was never an offer in any written form and certainly nothing More…

Posted on December 15, 2010


Lotus CEO Danny Bahar hosted a small group of media at the RAC Club in London today, of which I was one, to lay out his vision for Lotus in F1 and road cars. He didn’t say much about his rival Tony Fernandes, who has been using the Lotus name in F1 this season. However he did say that he tried to do a deal with him, but the Malaysian wanted too much money, “We tried, but when the counter proposals are so ridiculous, there is no point to continue to talk. ” said Bahar. “(The Renault deal) was one More…

Posted on December 8, 2010


Tonight F1 fans are a little confused and a little concerned as they contemplate a 2011 season with four black and gold Lotus Renault cars on the track, two owned by the Enstone based Lotus Renault GP and two – in slightly different livery – owned by Norfolk based Team Lotus. The Team Lotus entries have nothing to do with the Norfolk based Lotus Cars operation, which is a 25% shareholder in the Enstone based team. The two different Black and Gold liveries – both tributes to the iconic JPS Lotus colours of the 1970s – are at large on More…

Posted on November 5, 2010


Lotus finally confirmed the news that we’ve expected for ages, that they will use Renault engines for the next two seasons. We already knew that they would be using Red Bull gearboxes and hydraulics. It marks a significant step forward for the team. It was also announced that Red Bull has renewed its deal with Renault for two more years. The team will run KERS next year, Christian Horner has confirmed. Less clear is what happens next with the name of the team and with the arrival of Group Lotus, the car company, into F1 in partnership with the current More…

Posted on May 5, 2010


Among the teams bringing updates to Barcelona the ones likely to make the biggest gain are the new teams – because they are coming from the furthest back. In the case of Lotus their entry for 2010 was only accepted in September last year and they had one month to finalise the design before going into production, in order to make the pre-season tests. They put out a fairly conservative car for the opening races, always aiming at a major upgrade package for Barcelona. And technical director Mike Gascoyne says that a gain of around 1.5 to 2 seconds per More…

Posted on March 14, 2010


There aren’t many great stories in the aftermath of the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, but one of them is the performance of the Lotus team, both of whose cars were classified finishers today. Heikki Kovalainen crossed the line in 15th place and Jarno Trulli was 17th, albeit he stopped on the circuit. But that may have been tactical so that the team can change a gearbox without penalty for the next race. The concept of the new teams came in for quite a bit of criticism in the run up to the start of the season and all the More…



COUNTDOWN TO NEXT RACE
Strategy Report
Innovation and Technology brought to you by TATA Communications
Senna DVD
Download the Chequered Flag Podcast here
MTS
Darren Heath
Sport Right Now