Ex-Formula One driver, Jean Alesi, signed a contract with Newman/Haas yesterday to compete in the legendary Indianapolis 500 on 27th May 2012. Doubts had been growing over Alesi’s chance of competing in the race, after one of Lotus’ partners, HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins, saying the money isn’t there to support an extra seat.
This is steadily becoming the biggest motorsport pis**ng contest of recent times and clearly goes well beyond the bounds of gentlemanly competition… Welcome to Round 3 of the Lotus-vs-Lotus spat.
We were already aware that Group Lotus were in discussions with Genii Capital – majority shareholders in the Renault F1 team – about bringing a tie-up for 2011. The announcement was due at the final grand prix in Abu Dhabi, but there’s been much lobbying and negotiation in the background prior to this morning’s announcement.
The FIA’s official entry list for the 2011 Formula One championship was revealed this afternoon, with the most significant news being that the FIA has accepted the change of name of Tony Fernandes’ 1 Malaysia Racing Team from Lotus Racing to Team Lotus.
We seem to be writing a lot about Lotus this year, but then they’ve been making the headlines – usually for all the right reasons. Up until recently we were praising Lotus for the incredible albeit pricey Evora, their collaboration with 1 Malaysia Racing Team in F1 (licensed under the name ‘Lotus Racing’) and then the nostalgic return of the Lotus-brand to Indy Car Racing, run by KV Racing and driven by ex-F1 pilot Takuma Sato. 2010 looked like being a pretty good year for Lotus fans.
And then it all went horribly wrong.