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Lotus for Renault engines in 2011, return to Team Lotus name?

The partnership that took Ayrton Senna to his first F1 victory in the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril could be reunited in 2011, should the legendary Team Lotus name return to the grid, powered by Renault engines...
Lotus Racing could be set to switch to Renault engines next year and resurrect one of the most iconic names ever to grace the world of motorsport, if rumours are to be believed.

The latest incarnation of the classic Lotus marque has competed during its maiden campaign in the top flight with customer Cosworth powerplants – as part of the FIA's stipulation for all new arrivals on the grid this year, and a combination that has seen the Anglo/Malaysian outfit establish itself as comfortably the best of the three F1 2010 newcomers.

However, speculation surfaced earlier on in the season that the team was interested in a possible Renault supply instead in 2011 – in the wake of the French manufacturer's revelation that it would be willing to provide more teams than just itself and Red Bull Racing next year – and a meeting reportedly took place at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix weekend.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne would only concede that the team has 'a contract with Cosworth and we're discussing with them ways to work together in the future', but having already aggressively poached a number of key design and engineering personnel from rivals of late, the Tony Fernandes-led operation is palpably keen to move up the pecking order as fast as possible and begin to challenge F1's midfield contenders – and a collaboration with Renault might be seen as another step towards achieving that goal.

Lotus and Renault previously worked together from 1983 to 1986, with the late, great Ayrton Senna famously securing his maiden grand prix victory for the team during a torrential downpour at Estoril in Portugal in 1985.

What's more, Clive Chapman – son of legendary Team Lotus founder Colin Chapman – joined Lotus Racing for the European Grand Prix in Valencia last month to celebrate 500 starts at the highest level, and Fernandes has recently approached David Hunt, brother of 1976 F1 World Champion James Hunt, with a view to purchasing the rights to the Team Lotus name. Should Renault come on-board too, a little bit of grand prix history could just be about to be re-written.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Renault Logo, Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Catalunya, 11-13th, May 2007
Friday, Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, Lotus Racing
Friday Practice 1, Tony Fernandes, Team Principal, Lotus Racing
Qualifying, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Lotus Racing, T127
Saturday Practice, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Lotus Racing, T127
Ayrton Senna (BR), John Player Special Team Lotus 98T. Monaco Grand Prix, 11/05/1986, Monte Carlo.
Ayrton Senna (BR), John Player Special Team Lotus 98T. French Grand Prix, 06/06/1986, Paul Ricard, France.
Ayrton Senna (BR), John Player Special Team Lotus 98T. Monaco Grand Prix, 11/05/1986, Monte Carlo.
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Taz - Unregistered

July 13, 2010 1:37 PM

Been impressed with them, certainly the best of the new three. Williams weren't far of the pace at Silverstone with the Cosworth plant so it can't be that bad, they certainly seem to be better organised than the other two. Not sure about Virgin and HRT are a complete joke.



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