NOVEMBER 5, 2010
Lotus confirms Renault deal for 2011
Lotus Racing has confirmed that it will be using Renault engines starting in 2011, after weeks of speculation.
Earlier the team had announced a deal to use Red Bull gearbox, and had already canceled it's contract with Cosworth for engines in the future.
The deal has officially been done with 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Ltd, which signals that the dispute with the Lotus Group over the Lotus Racing name is still not resolved. There is speculation that this is also holding up the team from announcing that it will continue with it's current driver lineup.
Team Principal Tony Fernandes said, "I am absolutely delighted that we can now officially talk about the partnership with Renault. There has obviously been a great deal of speculation about which engine will be powering our cars from 2011 and now the announcement has been made I think everyone can see just how ambitious we really are. The combination of the Renault engine and the Red Bull Technology gearbox and hydraulics gives our design and aero teams a successful, tried and tested platform to work with for next year's car. 2010 has been all about building up our team from scratch and in just one year we have laid the foundations for many exciting seasons to come and the partnership with Renault will dramatically accelerate our development plans, both on and off track. That is an important point - we have started a partnership with Renault and, much like taking on experienced drivers in our first year, we will be working with people who know how to win and who will help push us even further forward towards the front of the grid. We are realistic - we know what needs to be done to be challenging for ultimate honours in Formula One and this partnership will play a very important role in helping us push ahead."
Technical Director Mike Gascoyne said, "Today's announcement is the latest confirmation of how far this team wants to go in Formula One‘. Having worked with Renault before I know exactly what they will bring to our team and I am delighted that they will be playing an integral role in the next chapter of our story. The engine itself gives our designers, engineers and drivers an excellent platform to work with - it is very drivable, has good reliability and comes with a track support team who have a wealth of experience and knowledge. We are all looking forward to working with Renault and are very excited about the future for our partnership and our team."
Riad Asmat said, "This is a very big day for everyone in our team, in Malaysia and in the UK. Just over a year ago there were four people in an empty factory, and now we have announced an engine partnership with Renault, one of the most successful manufacturers in our sport's history, a gearbox and hydraulics deal with Red Bull Technology and the start of the process of building our own wind tunnel at the factory in Hingham. We have come such a long way in a very short period, and today's announcement will give the whole team even more enthusiasm for the challenges that lay ahead."