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
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.
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:
Felipe Massa - The second fastest driver in Saturday practice
Robert Kubica was the fastest driver in the final practice session for 2010 Monaco GP ahead of Massa, Webber and Hamilton. Four different cars among top four. We had a glimpse of what the qualifying may be like with traffic affecting the lap times quite a lot in the closing stages of the session.
Fernando Alonso, the fastest driver on Thursday, faces race against time to get his car ready for the race after hitting the wall early on during the practice causing heavy damage to his car. UPDATE – Fernando Alonso will not take part in the qualifying after damaging the chassis in the FP3 accident. He will use new chassis in the race and therefore will have to start from the pitlane.
2010 Formula One Team Logos
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.
2010 Virgin Racing Livery
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 …
Lotus Debut for Jarno Trulli
Today is the last test session in Jerez this winter. There will be three drivers changes – Nico Rosberg takes over from Michael Schumacher, Vitantonio Liuzzi from Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli will make his Lotus debut. Here is the Saturday line up:
Lotus T127 in action in Jerez
The voting in the poll for The Best 2010 F1 Livery has ended. From the beginning it turned into the battle of two new teams. Lotus and Virgin together received almost half of all the votes. It was a tie for quite a while but at the end it was the Lotus T127 with most votes next to its name. BMW Sauber ended up as the least popular livery on the grid. Here is the result of the poll:
Sebastian Vettel; Sebastien Buemi
The second Jerez test continues with the day 2. Eleven teams will be action today. The talk of the day yesterday was the test debut of Lotus. Today Heikki Kovalainen takes over from Fairuz Fauzy. His car will be fitted with power steering and some front wing aero updates. It will be interesting to see how they compare with Virgin Racing. Virgin team spent most of the day one identifying the cause of hydraulic problems.
Fairuz Fauzy driving the Lotus car on Wednesday
The winter testing continues this week. The venues Jerez in Spain, same as last week. And same as last week the rain is expected to affect the program. All eleven teams that have already launched their 2010 cars will be present. The second Jerez test will be the first official test for the new Lotus Racing team.
New season, new drivers helmet designs. Here is the collection of 2010 F1 drivers helmets (click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images). Most of the returning drivers seem to have selected to stay with their traditional designs (or switch back back to them like Jenson Button). The most obvious changes are related to team changes or new sponsors on board. Drivers with most radically changed helmet designs are Robert Kubica (switch from red to yellow) and Timo Glock (from red to mostly gold). Helmets of all 2010 F1 rookie drivers – Bruno Senna, Karun Chandhok, Lucas di Grassi, Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg – are included in the gallery. (To see all the different helmets Sebastian Vettel used during 2010 F1 season click here)
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