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 ?
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…)
Drivers like to paint their helmets differently for Monaco GPs and this year is no exemption. Vitantonio Liuzzi and Sebastian Vettel have completely new designs for the Monaco GP this year, Jarno Trulli got rid of the shiny silver and went retro – back to colours he used earlier in his career. Lewis Hamilton’s lid has a roulette wheel added. Here is mini gallery featuring the 2010 Monaco GP helmet specials.
Lotus colours are this year also seen in the IRL series following the technical and commercial partnership between Lotus and Cosworth and IndyCar team KV Racing Technology. Here is short video introducing the team featuring among others Clive Chapman, Dany Bahar and Takuma Sato.
Here is another regular start of the season feature – look at all the logos of Formula One teams. Lot’s of changes compared to the year 2009 (see 2009 F1 logos here). Gone are the Toyota and Brawn GP logos. We have four brand new logos instead – Mercedes GP, Virgin, Lotus and Hispania. Then there is the BMW logo missing in BMW Sauber logo following BMWs pull out from F1 as well as the ING brand missing from Renault F1 logo.
Yesterday was the first day of proper F1 race weekend action for the new F1 teams – Lotus, Virgin and HRT (Hispania). Here are the photos of their cars on track during Bahrain Friday free practice (click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images):
Here is the final part of the pre-season miniseries of post recapping the changes in Formula One.
There were no drivers changes during the 2008 F1 season (other than the seats lost following the demise of Super Aguri) and the only changes in drivers line up ahead of 2009 were related to the retirement of David Coulthard. Vettel moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, Sebastien Buemi took Vettel’s seat at Toro Rosso. Buemi was also the only rookie on the grid of the season opening Australian GP last March. What a difference a year makes…
Here is the final 2010 season countdown post. Just over a week from now the F1 cars will go out for the first practice session of the 2010 season, 10 days from today the Bahrain GP will start.
All is clear, at least it seems to be. We know USF1 will not make it although one of the team founders (Ken Anderson) still hopes they can do in 2011 what they could not in 2010. With USF1 out gone is also the race drive of Jose Maria Lopez. Stefan GP on the other hand failed to make it to the FIA 2010 F1 entry list and so we will only see 12 teams and 24 drivers in 2010 season.
FIA published the (almost) final version of 2010 F1 entry list. The most important information the list provides is that there will be only 12 teams on the grid this season. USF1 failed to get ready and FIA decided that it is too late for any other team to enter the championship (see the statement at the end of this post). The entry list also confirms the name change of Campos META team to HRT F1 Team while BMW remains attached to the name of now Ferrari powered Sauber team. The only piece of the puzzle left to filled is the name Bruno Senna’s team mate. The announcement from HRT is expected later today with Indian driver Karun Chandhok said to be the prime candidate for that seat. We can also see that the ex-BAR, ex-Honda, ex-Brawn GP Brackley based Mercedes GP will now race under German flag. So in case McLaren or Mercedes GP drivers win the race we will only hear one national anthem …
Barely a week before the first practice session kicks off in Bahrain we are a bit closer to the final shape of the 2010 F1 grid.
It is now more less certain that there will be no USF1 team in 2010. The reports coming out last night suggest that the USF1 factory effectively closed down. (And they did so without even making that toaster ). This followed the earlier reports that the team asked FIA to deffer their entry till 2011. With no car, no money and lots of empty promises I can’t see a single reason why would FIA want to block the vacant slot for the team that failed while others (namely Lotus) have shown that things can be done in even much shorter time …
Jean Eric VERGNE
2014 F1 Calendar
14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi