So, Group Lotus became the equity partner in Renault F1 team after Renault sold its remaining shares to Genii Capital. Renault becomes the engine supplier and technological partner. For obvious historical and financial reasons Renault remains the name of the chassis. The official name of the team however changes to Lotus Renault GP.
Lotus Renault GP already released the artist impression of their 2011 livery – the black on gold one reminiscent of the Team Lotus in JPS era.
Lotus Renault GP logo
All fine and well except there will be another Lotus team, the Team Lotus (known as Lotus Racing in 2010) on the grid next year. Team Lotus will be powered by Renault engines and is listed on the 2011 FIA entry list as Lotus-Renault. Team Lotus (powered by Renault) also plans to run next year in black and gold livery (selected from designs submitted by fans).
So, after having no Lotus cars on grid for 15 years, it does seem there will be four of them in 2011 …
Renault in the meantime announced the creation of Renault Sport F1, the sporting division that will be responsible for Renault’s involvement in Formula 1™ racing as a supplier of engines and technology for the 2011 season and beyond. Renault Sport F1 will supply three teams in 2011, which equates to 25% of the grid.
Renault will be supplying engines to three of the teams on the grid in 2011:
- Lotus Renault GP: Renault will be supplying engines and technological support to Lotus Renault GP, the team that previously competed under the name of Renault F1 Team and with which it won two
world championships in 2005 and 2006.
- Red Bull Racing Renault: the 2010 world champion has been using Renault engines for four
seasons. Demonstrating its confidence in Renault, it has extended the partnership for a further two
- 1 Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Ltd (aka Team Lotus): a new customer for Renault in 2011. This team made its F1 debut in 2010. It has a sound technological base with the Renault engine and Red Bull Technology transmission
With this decision to supply engines to three teams next season, Renault is returning to its core expertise in engine manufacturing and getting ready to meet the challenges of the future, particularly the new engine regulations to be introduced over the next few years. (more…)
Anyway, here is the topic for this week, Thursday of Friday:
The three new teams made quite an impression on F1 this year. What do you think they brought to the sport? How would the year have been without them? Better or worse?
Maybe the question should be rephrased – Are the new teams welcome and is it OK to have on the grid teams several seconds off the pace ?
And few more questions to follow up – Was F1 better with Toyota after the car maker joined the sport in 2002 ? Were we better off with Minardi and Jordan on the grid (not Eddie himself but the team) or without them after the former was turned into Toro Rosso by Red Bull and the latter metamorphosed to Midland, Spyker and finally Force India ? Was F1 better with or without Super Aguri ?
Yesterday Williams announced signing of Pastor Maldonado, a Venezuelan driver, to partner Rubens Barrichello, the Brazilian. As a result, Williams will contest the 2011 F1 season with two Latin American drivers. There have been many drivers from Latin America in F1 and Argentina and Brazil also gave the world some World Champions. But having both drivers from that part of the world hasn’t been that common. Here is brief look back to the recent F1 history.
Williams F1 today confirmed that 2010 GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado will race for the AT&T Williams team in 2011 season. The appointment finalises the team’s line up for next year following confirmation of Rubens Barrichello last month.
“Pastor first caught my eye in 2007 when he drove a masterful race at Monaco. Since then, he has regularly reminded us of his unquestionable talent with some skilful wins, particularly during this year’s GP2 championship, taking an unsurpassed record of six successive victories. Of course, we already know Pastor from the time he spent with the team at the Abu Dhabi test, but we are very much looking forward to developing his talent over the winter and a fruitful season with him next year.” – AT&T Williams Team Principal, Frank Williams
“I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers. It is a great way to end what has already been an amazing year for me. I tested with the team in Abu Dhabi, but can’t wait to start working with everyone properly to be in the best possible shape going into next year. I will be doing my best over the winter to prepare myself, and I know the team will be working hard to ensure a successful season. 2011 will be the first time in nearly thirty years that a Venezuelan has driven a Formula One car so I will be looking to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today.” – Pastor Maldonado
FIA issued 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship entry list. Six teams have both drivers listed including Lotus (staying with Trulli and Kovalainen). Renault and Williams still haven’t confirmed team mates for Kubica and Barrichello, while no drivers have been officially confirmed by Force India, Virgin, HRT and surprisingly also Toro Rosso.
Team formerly known as Lotus Racing is listed as Team Lotus with Renault engines, BMW is no longer part of the name of the Sauber team. Here is the November 2010 version of 2011 F1 entry list: (more…)
I was little bit less camera crazy this time in Macau, here are few shots from Saturday and Sunday action at the Lisboa Corner of the Guia Circuit. As you can see from first two photos, Macau offers proper wheel-to-wheel racing (courtesy of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Juncadella):
Edoardo Mortara celebrating his second Macau GP win in a row
Edoardo Mortara won the 2010 Macau GP Formula 3 race and made history by becoming the first driver to win this race twice. The 23-year-old Italian driver made a strong start from pole position. However, a start line crash resulted in two laps of the safety car and at the restart both Daniel Abt and Laurens Vanthoor slipstreamed Mortara on the long straight. They passed their team-mate before Lisboa corner. Abt however haven’t spent much time inthe lead. He crashed only seconds later and safety car was out for the second time. When it came in, it was Mortara who took advantage and slipstreamed Vanthoor to re-gain the lead. He pulled away and never looked back. Valtteri Bottas closed on Vanthoor but the order at the top hasn’t changed.
Edoardo Mortara and Valtteri Bottas emerged as early favourites after Thursday action in Macau. Following almost identical times in first free practice the gap between them remained very close also in the first F3 qualifying session. This time the positions were reversed, Mortara edged Bottas by 0.113 and claimed provisional pole position.
2010 Macau GP – Qualifying 1 Times:
1. Edoardo MORTARA – 2:13.068
2. Valtteri BOTTAS +0.113
3. Marco WITTMANN +0.525
4. Laurens VANTHOOR +0.857
5. Carlos HUERTA +0.975
6. Renger VAN DER ZANDE +0.994
7. Felipe NASR +1.149
8. James CALADO +1.198
9. Alexandre IMPERATORI +1.247
10. Daniel ABT +1.444 (more…)
2010 Macau GP begins today. The F3 line up includes Jean-Eric Vergne, Ryo Haryanto and Felix da Costa who only day or two ago tested F1 cars for Toro Rosso, Virgin Racing and Force India in Abu Dhabi during the young driver test. Fastest time in FP1 belong to Valtteri Bottas only who finished the session only 0.01s ahead of last year winner and 2009 runner up Edoardo Mortara.
There were two red flags during the practice, one inevitably caused by Japanese driver called Sato . See the video.
2010 Macau GP – FP1 Times:
1. Valtteri BOTTAS – FIN – Prema Powerteam – 2:14.578
2. Edoardo MORTARA – ITA – Signature +0.010
3. Laurens VANTHOOR – BEL – Signature +0.767
4. Roberto MERHI – ESP – Prema Powerteam +0.805
5. Carlos HUERTAS – COL – Hitech Racing +1.197
6. Renger VAN DER ZANDE – NED – Motopark Academy +1.575
7. Daniel ABT – GER – Signature +1.665
8. Yuji KUNIMOTO – JPN – Tom’s +1.754
9. Marco WITTMANN – GER – Signature +2.058
10. Daniel JUNCADELLA – ESP – Prema Powerteam +2.083 (more…)
While people keep on bragging about the 2010 F1 season and follow the young driver tests in Abu Dhabi I am already turning my attention to the 2010 Macau GP that is on this weekend. The racing season is not over for me until all the debris is swept from the twisty curvy Macau street track on Sunday evening . I will be in Macau this weekend enjoying what likely will yet again be an action packed crashfest.
The star event of the weekend is the Formula 3 race with Edoardo Mortara back in the former Portuguese enclave to defend his 2009 title. Nobody has ever won the Macau F3 race back-to-back, in fact nobody has ever managed to win it twice. Mortara came close – he was the runner up in 2008 before winning the race in 2009. I found last night in my mailbox press release including Q&A with Edoardo Mortara. I decided to post the questions and answers here as they offer a Macau race winner’s view of this exciting and challenging street circuit (plus yet another hint that without pile of money in the pocket it is hard to graduate to F1 these days): (more…)
Here are the results of round 19 of the prediction game and further down this post the final standings. The highest one belongs to DaniGo – 24 points, still short of 25 – the highest score of the season achieved by Enigma in the round one of our game.
1. Sebastian VETTEL
2 Mark WEBBER
3. Fernando ALONSO
4. Felipe MASSA
5. Jenson BUTTON
6. Sergio PEREZ
7. Kimi RAIKKONEN
8. Romain GROSJEAN
9. Nico ROSBERG
10. Lewis HAMILTON
11. Nico HULKENBERG
12. Esteban GUTIEREZ
14. Paul di RESTA
15. Adrian SUTIL
16. Pastor MALDONADO
17. Valtteri BOTTAS
18. Daniel RICCIARDO
19. Jean Eric VERGNE
20. Charles PIC
21. Giedo van der GARDE
24. Jules BIANCHI
25. Max CHILTON
2013 F1 Calendar
15-17 March - Australia
22-24 March - Malaysia
12-14 April - China
19-21 April - Bahrain
10-12 May - Spain
23-26 May - Monaco
07-09 June - Canada
28-30 June - Great Britain
5-7 July - Germany
26-28 July - Hungary
23-25 August - Belgium
06-08 September - Italy
20-22 September - Singapore
04-06 October - Korea
11-13 October - Japan
25-27 October - India
01-03 November - Abu Dhabi
15-17 November - USA
22-24 November - Brazil