Boullier leaves Lotus
Lotus has announced that team principal Eric Boullier has left the team, with co-chairman Gerard Lopez set to take over the role.
Boullier now looks destined for McLaren where Martin Whitmarsh's position as team principal has been uncertain since Ron Dennis took over his role as CEO earlier this month. Boullier has run the Lotus team since 2010, when it was known as Renault, and his departure is a blow to the team following the loss of technical director James Allison to Ferrari last year.
However, Lopez, who first invested in the team at the end of 2009 when Renault decided to exit the sport, is confident Lotus will continue to go from strength to strength. He will remain on the board and continue to share chairmanship responsibilities with co-chairman Andy Ruhan.
"Lotus F1 Team has never stood still and we head into what promises to be an exciting 2014 season with an innovative new car, new partners and a new management structure at Enstone," Lopez said. "Great things have been achieved over the past years and we need to continue this momentum.
"We thank Eric for all his hard work over the past four years and we are confident we can continue to fight as one of the top teams in Formula 1 over the seasons ahead."
Lopez also announced YotaPhone as a sponsor for 2014.
"We are proud to announce that we have concluded an agreement with YotaPhone and its shareholders. YotaPhone shareholders will become important partners to Genii and YotaPhone a sponsor to the Lotus F1 team this year."
Lotus confirmed that its new car would be launched in Bahrain on the opening day of the second pre-season test when it will also announce other new commercial partners and sponsors.