F1 »

GE can help get Lotus KERS for 2012

Team Lotus' new deal with General Electric should enable it to run with KERS next season, according to Tony Fernandes.
Just a couple of days after revealing that it had reached an agreement to use one of F1 rival Williams' two windtunnels, Team Lotus has announced that it will be carrying General Electric branding from round nine of the 2011 season.

The deal, which was confirmed during an interview with team boss Tony Fernandes on CNN International, sees GE join the Anglo-Malaysian team as a 'premium partner' with branding appearing on both T128 cars and across the team's entire race and factory structure from next month's British Grand Prix. The partnership is expected to provide extensive brand and business benefits to both parties, with GE gaining a high-profile global platform to showcase its advanced technologies and Team Lotus acquiring leading edge technological, R&D and manufacturing resources that it hopes will help accelerate progress on and off track.

"GE was there at the beginning of my AirAsia adventure, where we just had two planes, and now we're up to a hundred," Fernandes confirmed, "They see a lot of potential in what we're doing - F1 and the motoring world - so it's a big, big day for us, after 19 months, to land a huge sponsor and a big name like General Electric. We're very excited about it."

Fernandes was particularly excited by the opportunities the deal may present in America, where F1 returns to race next season. Team Lotus also has the only American driver with an F1 superlicence, World Series by Renault frontrunner Alexander Rossi, on its books as part of a driver development scheme, and has already attracted attention from other US-based brands.

"I think, without a doubt, it's a huge market for us and the fact that we also have Dell and Rossi with us, somehow we've become more American - and the timing is perfect with Austin around the corner," he conceded, "For my other businesses, AirAsia, America's a key market, but I think, for F1, it's critical that we make America work this time and it's great that we managed to bring in two big American corporations into F1."

Of more immediate interest to Team Lotus, however, will be the input GE can bring to the design and build of its first KERS system. The team is one of the few running without the 'power boost' technology since it was re-admitted to F1 this season, and Fernandes admits that it needs to be on a par with the rest of the midfield runners if it is to live up to claims of improvement.

"Without a doubt," he noted, "Definitely, next year, we will have KERS and probably a lot more things, even down to non-destructive testing we've been discussing with GE. So it's a big plus, not only financially, but technologically it's a big boost for Team Lotus.

"We'd 100 per cent like to replicate [what Red Bull has done]. The great thing, five years ago, Red Bull was in the position that we were in. In fact, they had a little bit of a head-start because they bought an existing factory from Stewart, so they had quite a big head-start, but they were at the back and, five years later, they're world champions.

"We're very encouraged by it. You know, in 18 months, we've built a factory from nothing. We put the car out in Bahrain after only eight months. And qualifying for us [in Canada] was a fantastic qualification. We're getting closer and closer to midfield. But Red Bull has raised a lot of excitement and there's a lot of hope for new teams such as us."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Mechanics Team Lotus
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Team Lotus, TL11
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11 leads Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
11.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Team Lotus, TL11
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 amd Grid Girl
18.09.2016 - Race, (L-R) Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director, Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Racing Director
18.09.2016 - Race, Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
18.09.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05 and Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
18.09.2016 - Race, Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advisor and Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Anita Gofoadump - Unregistered

June 16, 2011 1:28 PM

They could strap one of GE's naf jet engines on the back, should give them the 3 seconds a lap they require. On a serious note, they are continually improving and moving steadily away from Virgin and HRT, knocking on the the door of Q2 now.


June 16, 2011 11:56 PM

This team continue to impress me. They improved steadily over the course of 2010 and this year has been more of the same, granted not exeptional speed but moving forward nicely. I think they have the right people there in Mike Gascoyne, Heikki and Jarno. I look forward to watching them develop over the next few years.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.