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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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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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result – Sebastian Vettel – the new F1 champion

Sebastian Vettel Abu Dhabi champagne

Sebastian Vettel - 2010 F1 Champion

Sebastian Vettel won the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and became the youngest ever Formula One champion. Lewis Hamilton finished the race in second place ahead of Jenson Button.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber became victims of their strategies. Both dropped down to the midfield after their pitstops and spent better part of race behind Vitaly Petrov (who pitted on lap one during safety car period).

2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result

1. Vettel
2. Hamilton +10.1
3. Button +11.0
4. Rosberg +30.7
5. Kubica +39.0
6. Petrov +43.5
7. Alonso +43.7
8. Webber +44.2
9. Alguersuari +50.2
10. Massa +50.8
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Poll: What do you think about Red Bull’s “no team orders” policy ?

Red Bull 2010 Constructor Champions

Red Bull Racing - 2010 Constructor Champions

Red Bull Racing allowed Sebastian Vettel to win the Brazilian GP ahead of Mark Webber. As a result Mark Webber goes to the final race of the season 8 points behind Fernando Alonso instead of what could have been only 1 point gap. On the other hand this decision keeps Sebastian Vettel within 15 points – a gap that is definitely easier to close in one race than 22 points would be. The Red Bull story however did not end there. Dietrich Mateschitz came out on record ruling out team orders for Abu Dhabi and effectively leaving it to drivers to fight it out on track, even if that means loosing the drivers title to Alonso (or still remotely possible to Hamilton).

“To interfere with the drivers was never a possibility for us. The whole world condemned Ferrari after what they did in Hockenheim, but we have turned out as idiots because we did not act in this way. We never even thought about it as long as both our drivers remain in the hunt for the championship. It is not assured that Alonso will always be the lucky one. Abu Dhabi will be incredibly exciting and provide highest tension.

Sunday night we will know if we clinched the other 50 percent and have been successful or not. A second place under correct circumstances might be better than a win on grounds of orders and confirmations.”

What are the reactions ? Red Bull are either branded as insane fools or this position is taken as a proof that they simply only want the drivers title if it is won by Sebastian Vettel, better Alonso than Webber …

There do not seem to be too many people out there who actually accept the idea of a team owner not keen on winning the title if that means manipulating the outcome of the race.

So, what do you think about Red Bull and the way they are approaching the season finale ? Here is a little poll (RSS readers may have to visit the website to see the poll):

What do you think about Red Bull's "no team orders" policy ?

  • The team wants Vettel not Webber to win the title (51%, 59 Votes)
  • They are doing the right thing leaving it to drivers to fight it out on track (26%, 30 Votes)
  • They are insane fools (21%, 24 Votes)
  • I have no idea (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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If the poll options are not enough, you can always leave a comment.

The F1 Firefighters – Heikki is no longer alone

Car on fire next to concrete wall… When there are no marshals on hand the drivers have to do the job. First there was Heikki Kovalainen in Singapore …

Heikki Kovalainen The Firefighter

Heikki Kovalainen - The Firefighter

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From Bahrain to Abu Dhabi – The 2010 Vettel Helmets Collection

F1 drivers do come up with special helmet designs from time to time, quite often for Monaco GP (see 2008 and 2010), for home GPs (see Piquet’s and Barrichello’s specials for 2008 Brazilian GP) or to pay a tribute to another driver (see David Coulthard for Colin McRae for example). Sebastian Vettel however seems to be coming up with new helmet design for almost every race … Here is the collection of Vettel’s lid designs in 2010 (now updated with Vettel’s helmets used during Korean, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GPs):

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images.
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2010 Hungarian GP – Race result – Webber Alonso Vettel

2010 Hungary Podium

2010 Hungarian GP podium

Mark Webber took full advantage of safety car combined with Vettel’s drive through penalty and won the 2010 Hungarian GP. Webber now also leads the drivers championship. Fernando Alonso finished second ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa spent most of race on his own between the top three and the pack behind him and ended the race in fourth. Vitaly Petrov (P5) and Nico Hulkneberg (P6) scored their best F1 finishes to date. De la Rosa scored his first points after his return to F1 for 7th place. The final points scoring positions belong, Button, Kobayashi and Barrichello.

Michael Schumacher finished 11th but will be investigated after the race for almost pushing Barrichello to the wall while defending his 10th place. All six new teams cars finished the race for the first time.

Update: Michael Schumacher was given 10 places grid penalty for the next race (Belgian GP).

There were few incidents during the pit stops under safety car. Robert Kubica was released into the path of Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg lost a rear wheel that went traveling and jumping through the pitlane (without causing any serious injuries thankfully).

2010 Hungarian GP Result

1. Webber – Red Bull – 1h41:05.571
2. Alonso – Ferrari +17.821
3. Vettel – Red Bull +19.252
4. Massa – Ferrari +27.474
5. Petrov – Renault +1:13.100
6. Hulkenberg – Williams +1:16.700
7. de la Rosa – Sauber +1 lap
8. Button – McLaren +1 lap
9. Kobayashi – Sauber +1 lap
10. Barrichello – Williams +1 lap

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2010 German GP – Qualifying – Vettel on pole

Sebastian Vettel Hockenheim Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel on pole in Germany

Sebastian Vettel squeezed ahead of Fernando Alonso and claimed yet another pole position for Red Bull. Only 0.002s separated top two drivers. Felipe Massa qualified 3rd ahead of Red Bull of Mark Webber.

2010 German GP Qualifying Result:

1. Sebastian Vettel – 1:13.791
2. Fernando Alonso – 1:13.793
3. Felipe Massa – 1:14.290
4. Mark Webber – 1:14.347
5. Jenson Button – 1:14.427
6. Lewis Hamilton – 1:14.566
7. Robert Kubica – 1:15.079
8. Rubens Barrichello – 1:15.109
9. Nico Rosberg – 1:15.179
10. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:15.339

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2010 British GP – Webber wins – “Not bad for a number two driver”

webber podium silverstone

Not bad for a number two driver

Mark Webber won the interesting British GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. Rubens Barrichello (P5) and Kamui Kobayashi (P6) had another great race and finished just ahead of Sebastian Vettel who dropped to last place on lap 1. The rest of the points went to Sutil, Schumacher and Hulkenberg.

2010 British GP Result:

1. Mark Webber – Red Bull
2. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren
3. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
4. Jenson Button – McLaren
5. Rubens Barrichello – Williams
6. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber
7. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull
8. Adrian Sutil – Force India
9. Michael Schumacher – Mercedes
10. Nico Hulkneberg – Williams

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2010 British GP – Qualifying – Vettel on pole again

Sebastian Vettel Siverstone 2010 pole

Sebastian Vettel will start 2010 British GP from pole position

Sebastian Vettel will start 2010 British GP from the pole position. Mark Webber will line up next to him on the front row. Fernando Alonso in P3 was almost 7 tenths down.

2010 British GP – Qualifying

1. Vettel – 1:29.615
2. Webber – 1:29.758
3. Alonso – 1:30.426
4. Hamilton – 1:30.556
5. Rosberg – 1:30.625
6. Kubica – 1:31. 040
7. Massa – 1:31.172
8. Barrichello – 1:31.175
9. de la Rosa – 1:31.274
10. Schumacher – 1:31.430

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London Red Bull pit stop

Here is the video of the early morning (5am) Webber’s pit stop just in front of the House of Parliament in London.

2010 European GP – Race Result – Vettel wins

Sebastian Vettel - 2010 European GP winner

Sebastian Vettel - 2010 European GP winner

Sebastian Vettel won the 2010 European GP ahead of McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. This Valencia race was more exciting the previous two. However the incompetence of the race stewards and race control following the safety car deployment (after the spectacular and scary Mark Webber crash) did leave a blemish on the race result. How can a driver who overtakes a safety car end up actually benefiting from breaching the rules ? Why all the drivers investigated for their behavior behind the safety car could not be penalized during the race ? (And by the way, where did the five seconds penalty come from ?)

2010 European GP Result:

1. Vettel – Red Bull
2. Hamilton – McLaren
3. Button – McLaren
4. Barrichello – Williams
5. Kubica – Renault
6. Sutil – Force India
7. Kobayashi – Sauber
8. Alonso – Ferrari
9. Buemi – Toro Rosso
10. Rosberg – Mercedes

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2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
Ferrari
Fernando ALONSO
Kimi RAIKKONEN
McLaren
Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Lotus
Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
Mercedes
Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Marussia
Jules BIANCHI
Max CHILTON

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

Archives

2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise
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