Lotus announced today that it’s taking over the “Renault F1 Team” and creating a new team named “Lotus Renault GP” that will compete in the 2011 Formula 1 season and onwards. This is not the first time that the two companies have worked together in Formula 1, as in the 1980s, Lotus used turbocharged engines sourced from the French carmaker.
While Renault will continue to supply engines and technical support, the Lotus Group will own and run the newly formed F1 team along with Genii Capital, a Luxembourg-based company that acquired Renault's stake in the team.
The British maker said that the new partnership brings the ability to quickly incorporate new technologies from F1 cars into its own road cars including hybrid technology, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), aero advancements and lightweight materials.
Genii will contribute to the partnership with non-Formula 1 technolgies such as lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology and software. Furthermore, Genii Capital will help Proton, owner of Lotus, to expand into new markets, such as Russia, and potentially access additional automotive technologies.
Gerard Lopez, founding partner of Genii Capital, said: “For Group Lotus, access to Formula 1™ opens up new marketing opportunities and a major platform for business exchanges and development. In this regard, Genii Capital possesses shareholdings in, and direct access to, cutting edge companies in the automotive industry. Our tie-up with Group Lotus and Proton, which will enable its future road car ranges to take advantage of significant new technologies, is a natural step.”
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, commented: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position: We are Lotus, and we are back.”
By Csaba Daradics