- Team Lotus
Lotus extends Renault engine deal and gets RBR KERS
Lotus has extended its engine supply deal with Renault Sport until 2013 and will also use Red Bull's KERS technology from next year.
Lotus switched to Renault Sport engines this year after starting out with Cosworth in 2010 and, according to team boss Tony Fernandes, intends to stay with the French supplier beyond 2013 when new V6 turbo engine regulations come into force.
"Having established an incredibly good working partnership since the first days of our agreement we are absolutely delighted that Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will be playing such an integral role in the ongoing development of our team until at least 2013, and then we are aiming to keep working together when the new rules are introduced," Fernandes said. "They are both passionate, dedicated teams of people with whom we have a growing relationship that is creating a number of exciting opportunities for us for the future. They share our vision for where we want to take our team, and we are very proud to have their power pushing us forward."
The use of Red Bull's KERS, which has been developed with Renault Sport, will be a first for Lotus, which decided not to run the technology this year to avoid reliability issues.
"Not only will we be able to build on everything we have learnt through working with Renault and Red Bull Technology in 2011, but we will now have the added benefit of KERS for next year, which really is a major step forward for our team," Fernandes added. "We have done the very best job we can this year but without that extra power we are always competing on a different level to the teams ahead, so to give our drivers that boost is a key element of helping us catch the cars ahead, and compete with them when we do so."
Renault Sport managing director Jean-Francois Caubet said he thinks it is just a matter of time until Lotus starts moving up the grid.
"This year we have established solid foundations with Team Lotus and this latest agreement consolidates the relationship that we look forward to continuing for many seasons to come," he said. "Renault is in F1 to display the quality of its product, so we need to be associated with teams that clearly have potential. The steps Team Lotus has made on and off track with its technical structure and facilities have given us a confidence they will achieve their aims. KERS is now an essential part to a competitive performance in F1 today and we hope this supply will help the team continue its evolution. Furthermore a wider experience of using the KERS system at this point in time will help in the development of the powerful energy recovery systems that will be introduced under the future engine regulations."
Lotus struck a deal to use Red Bull gearboxes when it signed up to Renault Sport engines this year and the team principal of the reigning champions, Christian Horner, said supplying KERS is a natural progression.
"We're very happy to extend the relationship between Red Bull Technology and Team Lotus, which already utilises our gearboxes, to include KERS for 2012 onwards. This endorses the joint venture between Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology, which will continue to develop in the coming months. Hopefully this will enable Team Lotus to build on the significant progress they have already made this season."