After BMW announced they were pulling out of the sport at the end of 2009, the FIA reopened the selection process to ensure that the grid would have a full complement of 13 teams. On September 15, 2009 the FIA announced that the 13th team on the grid would be Lotus F1.

Lead by a company called 1Malaysia F1 Team, a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, the team will enter under the historic Lotus name - last seen on the F1 grid in 1994, powered by Mugen Honda engines. The team will be headed by team principal Tony Fernandes, founder and CEO of the Malaysian-based Tune group, the owner of the Air Asia airline. The team's technical director will be Mike Gascoyne who has over 20 years of experience in Formula One having previously performed the same role for the Force India, Toyota, Renault and Jordan teams.

The team will initially be based at the RTN facility in Norfolk, 10 miles from the Lotus Cars factory. A 50,000 square foot facility, RTN was built by Toyota for its initial Formula One development and then used by Bentley for its successful Le Mans programme. The team's future design, R&D, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit.

Like all teams joining the grid for 2010 - the team will use Cosworth engines.