Lotus has appointed Federico Gastaldi as its new deputy team principal.

Gastaldi has worked with the team since it was run as Benetton, and most recently was director of business development. Lotus has been without a permanent team principal since Eric Boullier left for McLaren in January, with Gerard Lopez acting as team principal since then. Gastaldi will start work immediately and said he is excited by the potential within the team.

"It's a great honour and I'm looking forward to it," Gastaldi said. "I have a long history with Enstone with my previous role of Director of Business Development and then before that in the Benetton days. The team is an exceptional place to be and the depth of talent is amazing. My approach will be to ensure we get the most out of every aspect of Enstone and harness every talent housed there."

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Gastaldi also said the priority would be to ensure the team gets its new car running competitively as soon as possible.

"We need to ensure rapid progress with our car for this season. It's no secret that pre-season preparations have not been as smooth as we'd like but we have confidence that we can turn this situation around very quickly. We need to work as closely as possible with Renault to fulfil our potential. We know it is a big challenge, especially because there is so much technology that is new to everyone, but we know the team can deliver good cars and we will do this in 2014 with Renault."

Team principal Lopez said that Gastaldi's links to team owners Genii had made him the ideal candidate for the job.

"We are pleased to announce our new Deputy Team Principal," he said. "Federico Gastaldi has been a valued friend of the Genii and Enstone families for quite some time. His Enstone history dates back to the Benetton days. He also works with Genii on a number of projects in South America. For Lotus F1 Team, Federico was instrumental in nurturing our relationship with PDVSA and he continues to be a vital link for us with Venezuela.

"In the paddock, Federico's contact base is exceptional. As a figurehead, no-one better embodies the Lotus F1 Team spirit. His understanding of the sport as a whole is impressive. Federico will work closely with myself and the rest of the Genii and Enstone family and we're confident of a very positive future for all."