Posted on December 18, 2011


Caterham F1 Team have announced, via the team’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, that next year’s car has successfully passed the FIA crash tests. The CT-01 has yet to be given an official launch date, but getting the all clear from these preliminaries will allow the team to tick another box and make advances heading into the new year. It has been a busy week for the Hingham based squad following on from their official name change from Team Lotus to Caterham F1 Team on Tuesday. Gascoyne expressed his joy on Twitter. “Great week,” he said. “Renaming as Caterham F1 More…

Posted on December 14, 2011


Today Team Lotus steps back out of F1 and Caterham F1 comes to life as part of the deal which saw Group Lotus and Tony Fernandes end the dispute over the use of the Lotus name in F1. The Caterham team’s new logo has been unveiled and next season the cars will race in green and yellow colours under this brand. Meanwhile Lotus Renault will race in black and gold. Speaking in the final edition of its e-magazine Team Lotus Notes Fernandes said, “With Team Lotus, I would have battled to the end if I felt it was the right More…

Posted on December 14, 2011


John Iley has today been confirmed as the Team Lotus Performance Director. The teams name change to Caterham F1 Team will be confirmed on December 14th and the move from McLaren will see Iley rejoin his former Jordan and Renault F1 colleague Mike Gascoyne at the newly named squad. Iley’s new title will see him take control of all aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) aspects of development heading into the new year and the pre-season tests. Having worked at both Ferrari and McLaren, Iley brings even more experience to Lotus’ growing roster of accomplished personnel as the team looks More…

Posted on November 27, 2011


As Team Lotus embarks on its final F1 race before becoming Caterham F1 next season, team boss Tony Fernandes this morning laid out his vision for the team to a small group of media in the paddock at Interlagos. There were many details to do with the company being in four main divisions and some of the initiatives were eye catching. For example the future of technical director Mike Gascoyne. He and Fernandes see great potential in taking F1 composites and other technologies into aviation, an area where Fernandes has businesses (Air Asia and a share in Malaysian Airlines) and More…

Posted on November 25, 2011


The build up of technical staff at Team Lotus is set to take a new step with the arrival of leading aerodynamicist John Iley from McLaren. The move has yet to be announced by Team Lotus, but it is believed that Iley has left McLaren and is on gardening leave until joining what will then be called Caterham F1 Team in June 2012. Iley is another in a series of leading names who have worked before with Mike Gascoyne and have decided to join him at Team Lotus. He joins ex Red Bull technical director Mark Smith and ex Renault More…

Posted on November 15, 2011


It is well-known in Formula One that time is integral to any development. Whether it be designing the car or testing new configurations; strict limits on wind-tunnel use and testing can only allow for a certain amount of improvement during the season. For the three new teams that joined the grid in 2010, the last two years have consisted of non-stop development just to keep within touching distance of the more established outfits. Team Lotus has proved itself to be the out-standing case of the new entries and as we come to the end of the 2011 season the T128 More…

Posted on November 9, 2011


Group Lotus, Proton, 1Malaysia Racing Team and the current Team Lotus have announced today that the legal dispute surrounding the names of Team Lotus and Renault Lotus is now officially over. As of 2012, Team Lotus will become Caterham F1 Team and Lotus Renault will be rebranded purely as Lotus. Through the settlement, the “Lotus” brand has been re-established under the sole ownership of “Group Lotus”, which includes the use of the name throughout Formula One. This means that any relations between Tony Fernandes and Group Lotus has come to an end. The 1Malaysia Racing Team (1MRT), which is owned More…

Posted on November 8, 2011


Team Lotus has announced that Steve Nielsen will be joining the team as Sporting Director next month. He will perform a similar role to Sam Michael at McLaren and Ron Meadows at Mercedes, overseeing the way the team operates at the race track, liasing with the FIA Race Director, attending stewards meetings and working alongside the engineers to get the most from the package at any given race weekend. He worked most recently at Renault and was offered the job at Team Lotus last Autumn and turned it down, but then things changed at Enstone this season as the new More…

Posted on November 4, 2011


Team Lotus has announced that American, Alexander Rossi, will join the team for the Young Driver tests at Abu Dhabi, taking place in the week following the Grand Prix. The former World Series by Renault race winner has shown a lot of promise in the recent GP2 winter test sessions and will step into the seat of a Formula One car for the second time, his first having taken place with the BMW Sauber team in 2009. Rossi will also be competing in the GP2 season finale at Abu Dhabi for Caterham Team AirAsia and will be looking to improve More…

Posted on November 3, 2011


“And so it came to pass that in Milton Keynes in the shire of Buckingham, Stewart GP begat Jaguar, which begat Red Bull, which smote everyone into submission. While Tyrrell begat BAR, which begat Honda which begat Brawn which begat Mercedes which chased furiously after the Red Bulls.” Name changes in Formula 1 are as old as the hills; it’s a business and takeovers are an essential part of business life. They aren’t always allowed, as Tom Walkinshaw found when he tried to turn Arrows into TWR, but generally where it’s in most people’s interests to see strong brands with More…

Posted on October 26, 2011


The Formula One fraternity heads to India for the first time this week, keenly anticipating the nations first Grand Prix event. The race will be sure to boost India’s passion and image within the sport, as well as allowing people within F1 the chance to experience a new culture. The event will be particularly special for Lotus reserve driver, Karun Chandhok, whose father has been instrumental in bringing the race to India and building the track. Although the Indian driver has only competed in one race this season, he had high hopes that he would have the chance to contest More…

Posted on October 7, 2011


It’s a story that has been running for 12 months and now two Formula 1 teams want to change their names, but the other teams are not going to make it easy for them. Team Lotus wants to change the team name to Caterham F1 Team while the Renault team wants to change the “Lotus” in its name from a title sponsor to the team and chassis name, but both parties may have to wait until the F1 commission next meets in order to do so. The F1 commission normally meets in the first week of December, but Bernie Ecclestone More…

Posted on September 26, 2011


Engine supplier Renault Sport F1 has been making moves recently with its partners, first a long term deal with Red Bull Racing, essentially its ‘works’ team and now Team Lotus. The deal announced on Sunday in Singapore takes the partnership through to the end of the V8 engine era and also adds in KERS for the first time. This will come along with the gearbox from Red Bull Racing, which the team has been using this year. Although the deal runs to the end of 2013, team boss Tony Fernandes said that his intention is for a longer term deal More…

Posted on September 11, 2011


This morning Team Lotus has confirmed that Jarno Trulli will race for the team again in 2012. Although, as posted yesterday, the team is likely to be racing as Caterham F1 Team next year after reaching a settlement with Group Lotus. The 37 year old Italian starts his 247th Grand Prix today and next year will be his third season with Team Lotus. This has been a difficult year for Trulli, who struggled with the lack of precision in the steering of the Lotus until a new power steering system came on stream in Hungary. This weekend he outqualified team More…

Posted on September 10, 2011


There will shortly be only one Lotus in F1 and it will be the black and gold cars, not the green and yellow. The word this weekend in Monza is that a deal has been struck between the Malaysian owned Team Lotus and Group Lotus, which is a sponsor of the Renault GP team, to end the naming conflict. Tony Fernandes is understood to be on the point of applying to the FIA and FOM to change the name of his team to Caterham F1 Team. Although the details have yet to emerge, it’s likely that, to avoid confusion, the More…

Posted on September 2, 2011


There are plenty of signs that Team Lotus and Virgin, newcomers in 2010 are making big moves behind the scenes, consolidating their place in F1 and putting new things in place to move forward for next year. And at next week’s Italian Grand Prix in Monza we will start to see signs of that. Virgin will have an upgrade to its car and is now starting to talk openly about its new structure, with everyone coming under one roof at the old Ascari factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Virgin famously tried to re-invent the wheel in F1, with Richard Branson praising More…

Posted on August 28, 2011


Romain Grosjean clinched the GP2 title this weekend, following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg. Now he needs to move back into F1 and it will be very interesting to see what happens. Grosjean has had an F1 chance before, of course, in 2009 when he was drafted in by Flavio Briatore to replace Nelson Piquet Jr. It was the wrong move at the wring time, he came in with no testing, mid season and up against Fernando Alonso in the other car. He was too young, not prepared and wasn’t physically strong enough. Now, More…

Posted on August 24, 2011


Riad Asmat, who was one of the founders of Tony Fernandes’ version of Team Lotus, has been promoted to a CEO role in a move which brings the recently acquired Caterham Cars operation and the GP2 team all under one umbrella. Asmat will be in charge of anything to do with automotive and engineering. Formerly he was CEO of just the F1 team. “In F1 the goal remains the same,” said Asmat. “Grow over the long-term and achieve our goals in realistic timeframes. Next year we need to take another step up and we have the building blocks in place More…

Posted on August 19, 2011


It is said that “tradition is an experiment which worked’. This evening on Facebook there is an experiment taking place which will be eagerly watched by sponsors, rights holders and broadcasters and, if it works, could have a significant role to play in the way F1 media is consumed in the future. Budweiser, the sponsor of the FA Cup competition, is streaming the opening round of the FA Cup live tonight at 7-45pm on its Facebook page, taking the content live and direct to its consumers. It expects around 100,000 of Facebook’s 700 million audience to watch and may show More…

Posted on August 10, 2011


By their own admission Team Lotus is not where it expected to be at this stage, which was fighting with the slowest of the midfield teams; in Budapest the car was three tenths slower than Buemi’s Toro Rosso and half a second slower than Maldonado’s Williams. Although the car was two seconds per lap faster in Budapest than Virgin or HRT, it remains perilously close at the foot of the championship table with Trulli’s two 13th place finishes keeping the team in the lucrative 10th place, ahead of HRT with one 13th place. One topsy turvy race could turn that More…

Posted on July 28, 2011


We’ve posted quite a bit on F1 and social media in recent months; particularly after the FOTA Fans Forum in Montreal where it was one of the key discussion points and also when I put some of the fans’ questions to Bernie Ecclestone about F1′s reluctance to push content out on social media. Our colleagues at the leading French website Toile F1 have compiled some research on the subject, which is worth sharing and which highlights some interesting trends. The sample was measured this week. The % column refers to the gain in popularity from the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, More…

Posted on July 21, 2011


Jarno Trulli will not race at the Nurburgring after Team Lotus announced that reserve driver Karun Chandhok will race car number 21 this weekend. He becomes the second Friday driver to take up a race seat after Daniel Ricciardo took Narain Kartikeyan’s seat at HRT. Both Ricciardo and Chandhok are Red Bull backed drivers. Trulli has been struggling with the power steering this season, which has prevented him from having the precision in his steering which he needs to get the most out of the car, especially in qualifying. It is not clear at this stage how long this situation More…

Posted on June 15, 2011


Team Lotus announced yesterday that it has closed a deal with General Electric as a “premium partner” of the F1 team and it’s worth taking a closer look at this deal which will put sponsorship money into the team, offer technological support and potentially provide an interesting media platform in the USA and elsewhere. GE has worked with Team Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes’ Air Asia business in the past and this is one of those deals which had been pending, waiting for an outcome in the nine month legal battle with Malaysian government backed Group Lotus. The judge in More…

Posted on June 13, 2011


Here is a video with Part 2 of the FOTA Fans Forum in Montreal, featuring F1 drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Hulkenberg as well as Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne discussing the stewards’ decisions on overtakes, collisions and “racing incidents” this year and also explaining to fans why F1 changes technical rules mid season, such as the blown diffuser, part of which looks set to be banned from Silverstone onwards.

Posted on May 30, 2011


Tony Fernandes says that following the judgement delivered last Friday on the Lotus vs Team Lotus row, he has no need to change his chassis name, as his rivals claim. The judge in the High Court ruled that Team Lotus, owned by Fernandes’ consortium, had the right to race in F1, and that their rights came with the logo and the goodwill. However he also ruled that they are not to use the name “Lotus” on its own. Rivals from the Group Lotus-sponsored Renault team, claim that this means Fernandes will not be able to continue to use Lotus as More…

Posted on May 27, 2011


The High Court in London has ruled that Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus does have the right to use the Team Lotus name in F1. Group Lotus has indicated that it is likely to appeal and the judge acknowledges that the ruling, which leaves two Lotus entities in F1, is confusing for fans. Both sides are claiming it as a win, when it leaves neither with all of what they needed. However Fernandes does not have the right to simply “Lotus” on its own and this could present some difficulties as the chassis is currently a Lotus. One could argue that More…

Posted on May 18, 2011


Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne believes that the updates on its car, which will be rolled out in Spain this weekend, will be worth “about a second (per lap)”. Although no teams stand still in terms of development at this time of year, a second off Lotus’ lap time would put them into the midfield, around where Force India and Williams are and certainly into the second part of knockout qualifying. “It’s (the update) all built around the rear end,” says Gascoyne. “It’s a Red Bull style diffuser package. It’s a very big step, far bigger than you More…

Posted on April 27, 2011


The consortium behind Team Lotus today confirmed that it has acquired the Caterham road car business. Team owner Tony Fernandes has indicated that “we will link the Formula 1 team and the car company close together. Then we will look at building technology links and marketing links.” He said that adding the road car platform to the F1 programme is where he wanted to be 12 months ago with Group Lotus, but that came unstuck due to a clash with Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar. “Now it’s our baby and we will build from a solid base into something in 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 December 23, 2010


This afternoon the family of Lotus founder and legendary engineer Colin Chapman issued a statement which distances them from the Tony Fernandes vision for Lotus. It’s not a body blow to the Malaysian’s plans, but it is an important piece on the chess board which has now fallen to Danny Bahar and Group Lotus. The support of the Chapman family, Colin’s son Clive and his mother Hazel, was fundamentally important to Fernandes when he launched his Lotus Racing team last year. They were present at the launch in London and Clive is reported to have entrusted his father’s famous corduroy More…

Posted on December 12, 2010


In the intricate chess match which is the battle to be “Lotus” in Formula 1, this weekend it was the turn of Tony Fernandes to make some moves. The Malaysian businessman, who owns the team which competed this year as Lotus Racing and which is entered for next year as Team Lotus, phoned around a few journalists for a chat, including myself. This follows a week in which most of the running had been made by the opposition in the form of Danny Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus. As in his struggles to build his airline business, Fernandes finds himself 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 30, 2010


The FIA has just issued the entry list for next year’s world championship. Ten of the 24 seats have yet to be filled and the main story is that Tony Fernandes’ team, which was known as Lotus Racing this year is officially registered as Team Lotus, the historic name that Fernandes purchased, or is in the process of purchasing, from David Hunt. Team Lotus won 79 Grands Prix and seven constructors’ championships in its original guise, between 1958 and 1994. At the same time the team is retaining the two drivers from this season Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, meaning More…

Posted on September 27, 2010


The row over the use of the Lotus brand in F1 has been bubbling under the surface for a long time and today it went public. Proton, the owner of Group Lotus, which makes road cars said that the F1 team had no rights to use the name Lotus. This followed an announcement at the weekend that Tony Fernandes’s Lotus F1 team had acquired the rights to the Team Lotus name from David Hunt, who has owned it since 1994. From next season Tony Fernandes’ outfit will be called Team Lotus. He has made this move in order to bring More…



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