Renault F1 Team becomes Lotus Renault GP, Renault creates Renault Sport F1

Lotus Renault GP Livery

Lotus Renault GP 2011 Livery

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

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
years.

- 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.
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Last time an F1 team raced with two Latin American drivers…

Pizzonia Montoya 2004

Antonio Pizzonia and Juan Pablo Montoya

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.

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2011 Formula 1 Drivers – Williams – Maldonado joins Barrichello

Pastor Maldonado Williams

Pastor Maldonado - 2011 Williams F1 Driver

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

2011 Formula One Entry List (30/11/10 Version)

FIA logo

FIA logo

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:
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2011 Formula 1 Drivers – Williams – Barrichello stays, Hulkenberg out

Barrichello Hulkenberg Williams

Team mates no more ...

Right on the first day of the off-season Williams announced some decisions on the their 2011 drivers line up. Rubens Barrichello will stay on with team, Nico Hulkenberg however will not. The team will confirm their second driver before the end of the year. Current GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado has been connected with the team.

The AT&T Williams team today announced that Rubens Barrichello will continue to drive for the team in 2011. The team’s second driver will be confirmed before the end of the year.

Rubens Barrichello enjoyed a successful first season with Williams, and his 18th in the sport. The Brazilian drove his FW32 into the qualifying top ten a total of 13 times and claimed 10 points scoring finishes over the year, all of which helped the team move forward to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship at yesterday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team can also confirm that Nico Hulkenberg will not contest the 2011 FIA World Championship with AT&T Williams. Nico joined the squad as a rookie at the start of the season, following a dominating career in Formula 3 and GP2 supported by Williams. Convincing performances in his debut year in Formula One culminated in 14th place in the Drivers’ Championship and an undoubtedly bright future in the sport. The team wishes to thank Nico for his dedication and team work over the past year, and for delivering a memorable first pole position in five seasons for the team at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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2011 Formula 1 Calendar

FIA logo

FIA released the 2011 Formula One calendar

FIA released the provisional calendar for 2011 season. It features 20 races including the inaugural Indian GP (scheduled for October 30, 2011). Bahrain keeps it season opening spot (March 13, 2011) while Brazil (November 27, 2011) will get back the season finale from Abu Dhabi. The 2011 Formula One season will span over eight and half month. Four weeks summer brake is scheduled between Belgian and Italian GPs.

The Indian GP is still subject to the homologation of the circuit as is the Chinese GP. Shanghai’s licence has expired already and the track has some upgrading to do before it can be granted a new one.

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Pirelli press release on F1 and GP2

1986 Mexican GP F1 win for Pirelli

1986 Mexican GP F1 win for Pirelli tyres (Berger, Benetton-BMW)

Pirelli will return to F1 next season for the first time since 1991. The Milan-based firm will supply all the Formula One teams from 2011-2013 with six types of tyre: four for dry weather, one for rain and one intermediate tyre. Pirelli – which has supplied tyres exclusively for the GP3 championship this year – will also supply the GP2 championship from 2011, becoming the sole provider of tyres for the most prestigious single-seater championships in global motorsport.

Here is the full text of Pirelli press release on F1 and GP2:
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Pirelli becomes F1 tyre supplier, 107% rule returns and more

Pirelli logo

Pirelli - last seen in F1 in 1991

As expected Pirelli will become F1 sole tyre supplier from 2011 season for period of three years. This is one of decisions The World Motor Sport Council meeting that took place today in Geneva. The WMSC also decided that the 107% qualifying rule will return from next season. That means that from 2011, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest Q1 qualifying time will not be allowed to take part in the race.

FIA also made some decisions that come to effect immediately following recent safety car incident (Schumacher Alonso in Monaco) and Hamilton’s running out fuel at the end of qualifying in Canada. With immediate effect, if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power. If the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

Here are the decisions taken by The World Motor Sport Council today in Geneva in full:

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2013 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
1. Sebastian VETTEL
2 Mark WEBBER
Ferrari
3. Fernando ALONSO
4. Felipe MASSA
McLaren
5. Jenson BUTTON
6. Sergio PEREZ
Lotus
7. Kimi RAIKKONEN
8. Romain GROSJEAN
Mercedes
9. Nico ROSBERG
10. Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
11. Nico HULKENBERG
12. Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
14. Paul di RESTA
15. Adrian SUTIL
Williams
16. Pastor MALDONADO
17. Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
18. Daniel RICCIARDO
19. Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
20. Charles PIC
21. Giedo van der GARDE
Marussia
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

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