Crash.Net F1 News

Engine 'stability' key to Lotus development

29 September 2011

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has hailed the agreement of an extension to the squad's deal for Renault engines as a key component in its future development.

The two parties announced during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend that their existing engine deal would be extended for a further season, through to the end of the current V8 era in 2013, and would also include access to a KERS system through both Renault Sport and Red Bull Technology. KERS has been a vital element missing from Team Lotus' assault on the F1 midfield this season, and the squad has admitted that it is vital that it is included in the 2012 package.

Reflecting on the deal, Fernandes admits that retaining its ties with Renault is equally important as it provides the team with 'stability' as it heads into its third season in the top flight.

"It's a big significance," the Malaysian told ESPNF1, "Next year will be the first year we have the same engines for two seasons, the same gearbox, and it's going to aid development tremendously because we've got the same team, virtually, and the same components. Last time, we had to rebuild 8000 components, now we're really just working on the aero and trying to design that."

Fernandes is confident that, despite signing a one-year extension to the engine deal, his team would remain a Renault customer when the new turbo engine era begins in 2014.

"We have [committed for the new regulations]," he noted, "We don't know what the deal is going to be, but we have already made an agreement with Renault that we will be looking at 2014 and 2015."

Ironically, Fernandes' claims of 'stability' come as the team looks set to undergo another name change amid speculation that the bitter row over the use of the Lotus moniker is about to be put to rest. Team Lotus looks likely to be rebranded as Caterham F1 for 2012, with the Lotus Renault team possibly becoming the 'new' Team Lotus.