Saturday, November 6, 2010

Renault Engines Officially with Lotus F1 Team in 2011

Photo Credit: Lotus Racing

Having been the worst kept secret of the Formula 1 paddock (if it was ever a real secret), Lotus Racing has confirmed on Friday the 2011 edition of their grand prix cars who run with Renault power. Furnished by Renault Sport, the French company will replace the Cosworth powerplants Lotus used to reenter the Formula 1 tour.

As the announcement broke, Lotus Racing's team principal Tony Fernandes is quite aware for engine deal's announcement came as no shock to any Formula 1 observer. “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." Fernandes said in the team's news release. The Renault engine deal was first thrown through the rumour mill during late summer but the speculation was heated up later when Lotus Racing announced they would receive gearboxes and other components from Red Bull Racing (a team powered by Renault engines).

Mike Gascoyne, who worked with the Renault F1 as a technical director for three seasons starting in 2001, was enthusiastic about this new involvement with his old employer. "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.”

When the Lotus team joins the Formula 1 grid in 2011 with Renault power, the ignition will spark a reuniting of French and English companies. Among the many engine manufacturers the original Team Lotus utilized was Renault power between 1983 to 1986. As fate would have it, Lotus' founder Colin Chapman had negotiated the French engines in 1982 just prior to his untimely passing in December of that year. Partnered together in hopes to carry on the accolades under the English Formula 1 team's creator, the pairing united during times when future Formula 1 legends Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell drove Team Lotus colours (which were than John Players Tobacco black and gold). On the tail-end of their 4 seasons of Formula 1 action, Lotus-Renault's grabbed 5 grand prix victories (4 by Senna and 1 by Elio de Angelis). It seems fitting that the official announcement of Renault rejoining Lotus comes while the 2010 Formula 1 schedule blitzes into Ayrton Senna's home country of Brazil.

A second-year team with a full season of knowledge and in-race experience, the Lotus Racing (or Team Lotus) organization will be an exciting outfit to watch throughout the 2011 season.

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