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lotus to return to formula 1 in 2010


Beady

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Found this in bbc sport website today:

Lotus are to return to Formula 1 next season for the first time since 1994.

They have been awarded the final grid spot and join Campos GP, Manor and US F1 as one of four new teams for 2010.

The FIA has given current team BMW Sauber "14th place" for 2010, meaning they are now first reserves to fill any vacancy on the grid should one arise.

However, motorsport's governing body says it will "consult urgently" with the 10 existing teams to expand the grid from 13 to 14 teams for 2010.

"The FIA believes that a good case can be made for expanding the grid to 14 teams," read an FIA statement released on Tuesday.

"It will be consulting urgently with the existing teams regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010."

While the FIA said it had received an "impressive application" from the BMW Sauber team, it added: "However, given that BMW has announced it will withdraw its support in 2010, there are still uncertainties regarding the future ownership of the team."

The German car manufacturer, which took over Sauber in 2005, revealed it would withdraw from F1 at the end of July citing "current developments in motorsport" as the reason for their decision.

BMW was the second major manufacturer to announce it was leaving the sport after Honda's withdrawal eight months earlier.

The Norfolk-based Litespeed team bought the rights to the name Team Lotus - which competed in F1 from 1958 through to 1994 - and was awarded its place, also pushing out Epsilon Euskadi, following an intensive selection and due diligence process conducted by the FIA.

The team won seven constructors' crowns and six drivers' championships, including wins by Jim Clark and Graham Hill, during their golden era in the 1960s and '70s.

Three-time world champion, the late Ayrton Senna, drove for Lotus for three seasons between 1985 and 1987 - although the team enjoyed limited success during that period.

In its new incarnation the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs and is being led by team principal Tony Fernandes, the founder of the Malaysian-based Tune Group, which owns Air Asia airline.

Mike Gascoyne - who has 20 years experience in the sport after working with Jordan, Renault, Toyota, and most recently Force India - returns to F1 as the team's technical director.

The team will be initially based in Norfolk, though its future design, research and development, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia's Sepang International circuit.

Their withdrawal from F1 in 1994 was down to financial pressures, but Lotus remains the fourth most successful constructor of all time.

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Ha! Beady has beaten me to it. Autosport.com has the same press release but the only different info is about start up factory:Lotus will be initially based at the RTN facility in Norfolk, UK, some 10 miles from the Lotus Cars factory. The 50,000 square foot facility was originally built by Toyota for its initial Formula 1 programme and then used by Bentley for its Le Mans programme.

They also have the following breaking news so looks like Lotus just got in in time!

BMW finds buyer for Formula 1 team

By Pablo ElizaldeTuesday, September 15th 2009, 11:08 GMT

BMW has announced that the Qadbak Investments company has agreed to purchase the Formula 1 team based in Hinwil.

The German company had revealed earlier this year that it will quit Formula 1 at the end of the season, and had been in talks with interested parties since then.

On Tuesday, BMW said it had signed the contract to sell the team to Qadbak, a Swiss-based foundation which represents the interests of certain Middle East and European-based families.

"A strong investor has therefore been found for the Hinwil-based team," BMW said in a statement.

"Qadbak's interest in the team will be represented by Lionel Fischer, a Swiss national. BMW wishes Qadbak and the Sauber Team every success for the 2010 season and beyond."

The sale of the team coincides with the FIA having announced the 13th entry for the 2010 championship went to the Lotus outfit, with BMW as a possible 14th entry in case a current team fails to race next year.

The FIA also said it would talk to the teams about the possibility of increasing the grid size to 28 cars to allow the Hinwil squad to race next year.

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

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  • Gold FFM

It'll be great to see the Lotus name back on the grid. Let's hope it not just a handy badge for a Malaysian team but genuinely with some Lotus engineering. Looks like a good start though with Gascoyne and Cosworth plus presumably Bahar involved.

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Lotus Group shareholders are involved so I hope they'll get Lotus Cars involved too. The logical move would be to have Dany Bahar form a special team to lead the assault and get some mechanics, tech and engineers to transfer to the RTN factory! Or even Better Group Lotus should by the RTN factory! And the shakedown would take place at Hethel on the company track before a presentation in KL in front of Proton, petronas and the dignitaries of the Malaysian gov!

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  • 1 month later...

In Autosport.com today:

By Pablo Elizalde Thursday, November 12th 2009, 10:38 GMT

Aerolab, an aerodynamic engineering company, has confirmed a new partnership deal with the Lotus Formula 1 team.

The deal will see Aerolab and parent-company Fondtech help the new Norfolk-based team in the design and development of next year's car.

"We are very enthusiastic about the new partnership between ourselves and Lotus F1 Racing," said Aerolab's managing director Jean-Claude Migeot.

"I am also confident in the potential of our team as well as the future synergy between Lotus F1 Racing, Fondtech and Aerolab."

The company has previously worked with Toyota, Renault and Force India in Formula 1.

"It's great to be working alongside Jean-Claude and his staff again," said Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne.

"The teams I've been involved with before unquestionably benefited from Aerolab's resources and know-how so it was an easy decision on my part to renew that relationship when it came to Lotus F1 Racing.

Together, I'm hopeful of producing a competitive package that will compare favourably against the established order in 2010."

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

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Yeah, saw this!!

There is currently a lot of whinging going on from Force India's direction that Lotus have nicked the development or part of it from their aero package.

Aerolab now joining Lotus in partnership isn't going to slow the wagging tongues but to be honest........thats F1 for ya!!!

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