Team Lotus returning to F1

Model of the 2010 Team Lotus F1 car
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

The Malaysian-funded outfit have been awarded the final grid spot and join Campos GP, Manor and US F1 as one of four new teams for 2010.

However, motorsport’s governing body says it will “consult urgently” with the 10 existing teams to expand the grid from 13 to 14 teams for 2010. “It will be consulting urgently with the existing teams regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010.”

The Lotus team will be initially based in Norfolk, though its future design, research and development, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia’s Sepang International circuit.

In its new incarnation the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs.

It will be led by team principal Tony Fernandes, the founder of the Malaysian-based Tune Group, which owns the Air Asia airline.

Mike Gascoyne – who has 20 years experience in the sport after working with Jordan, Renault, Toyota, and most recently Force India – returns to F1 as the team’s technical director. Wow!

“We are not just a small new team, we have the possibilities to be a very substantial team,” Gascoyne told BBC Sport. “And the FIA recognise that, combined with the name and that we’re also a team based outside Europe…

The team has promised to announce its two drivers by October 31 2009. Right now, they have a short list of drivers and test drivers of six.

They have bought the rights to the name Team Lotus.

Thanks, WOK3

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