Former Ferrari F1 employee Claudio Berro has emerged from the ashes of the Speedcar operation to take his experience to the nascent Lotus F1 team, where he will assume the role of director of motorsport.
The Italian, who also held posts at both Fiat and Maserati during a 14-year involvement with some of his homeland's most famous motoring names, oversaw the second season of the ambitious attempt to introduce NASCAR-style racing to the Middle East, but has been tempted back into the top flight by the most notable of F1's new additions for 2010.
“I am delighted that Claudio is joining us as director of motorsport," Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar told the official F1 website, "He has a proven track record of not only setting up and managing the motorsport divisions within sportscar brands, but also winning championships in GT racing and rallying. His skills will be very valuable as we look to return Lotus to high level motorsport around the world.”
Berro began his motorsport career as a competitor, claiming an Italian national rally title as a co-driver, before moving on to act as sporting director of Peugeot Italy, team manager and press officer at Ferrari, and then as general manager of both Maserati and Fiat Abarth, before embarking on the role of operations director at Speedcar. However, despite his background, he admits that there is something about being involved with one of the most famous names in motorsport that has tempted him back.
“Lotus has a peerless motorsport heritage, not just in F1, but also having won in sportscar racing, saloon car racing, world rally championships, Le Mans and the Indy 500,” he said, “There is no other car company in the world which can lay claim to so many accolades and championships in such a wide variety of motorsport fields, and I am looking forward to re-introducing Lotus to high level motorsport - not only to compete and win, but also to demonstrate the shared technology between Lotus sportscars and future racing cars.”
Berro will officially begin his role at Lotus on 2 November.