As Mark Smith joins Lotus from Force India

Lotus has announced that Force India's Design Director Mark Smith has joined the team as Technical Director. The release said that Smith would join the team after working a notice period at Force India.

Also moving at the same time are Lewis Butler, who will become the Chief Designer, and Marianne Hinson, who will become the Head of Aerodynamics. The three have previously worked with Lotus' chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne.

Gascoyne said, "I'm exceptionally pleased to welcome Marianne and Lewis to Lotus Racing, and I'm very excited to once again be teaming up with Mark Smith who I have previously worked with at Jordan, Renault and Force India. Lewis and I were together at Force India, and Lewis also worked with Mark Smith at Red Bull, and Marianne and I have known each other since 1999 when I gave her her first job in F1™ at Jordan, so we all know each other very well."

"Mark Smith and I were first at Jordan together where our first car was the 199, Jordan's most successful F1 entrant, and then he came with me to Renault where we helped put them back on the top step of the podium, and put in place the team that went on to win two world championships. Most recently we were together at Force India, and I'm delighted he sees the potential we have here, and has seized the opportunity to work with me, Tony and the whole team on helping Lotus Racing reach the front of the grid."

"For me, it's not just about the proven technical ability of the team we now have in place, it's also the fact we've all worked together before, know how to achieve the goals we've set out, and know how to have fun together. We all work together extremely well, and that gives us the perfect base from which to build for long-term success."

Team Principal Tony Fernandes said, "I am honoured that these fantastic talents have put their careers and their faith in Lotus Racing, and see the very bright future we all have together here. Formula One™ is a small world and the fact that they are coming to our team shows what we have already achieved in a very short period. Nothing will stop us from bringing in the best people we can, and we will give them the best working environment, and create the perfect atmosphere for them to fulfil their own potential, and help us in our quest to reach the top."

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