The Re-Emergence of Lotus?

September 9, 2009

Will we see the Team Lotus or Group Lotus name in F1?

Will we see the Team Lotus or Group Lotus name in F1?

The silence from the FIA regarding the ‘spare’ slot on the 2010 grid created by the withdrawal of BMW is leading to increasing speculation as to who the final team will be. This is not to mention the potential for Toyota to pull out, should TMC’s half year results make continuing with F1 unsustainable, and also the potential for Renault to leave F1 if the upcoming FIA tribunal finds them guilty of race fixing in 2008.

 The recent move by Dany Bahar, formerly Dietrich Mateschitz’s right hand man at Red Bull, from Ferrari to head of Group Lotus, owned by Malaysian car manufacturer Proton, has led to increased speculation that Lotus may be planning to re-enter F1. In the history of F1 Lotus is probably the closest to Ferrari in terms of a team which both shaped and dominated particular periods of the sport. Lotus founder, the late Colin Chapman, is often cited as one of the most influential people in the history of F1, along with Enzo Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone.

 The complicating factor is of course that there are many other potential entrants, some of whom have been strung along since June of this year when their entries were unsuccessful, but they have been encouraged by the FIA to keep their proposals ready should the situation change.

 The situation is also further complicated by the fact that there has already been a Lotus proposal based on the Litespeed bid which involved former Jordan, Renault and Toyota Technical Director Mike Gascoyne and uses the Team Lotus name (Team Lotus being the F1 team which was not included in the Proton purchase of Group Lotus). So we have not one but two potential Lotus’s to add into the pot of intrigue and conspiracy which is bubbling merrily away.

 I’d like to say that all will be revealed in the next few weeks, but in the twists and turns of the world of F1 that is about as likely as Susan Watkins’ biography of Bernie Ecclestone being published before Christmas in a totally unexpurgated form.

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