Lotus to replace BMW on the F1 grid in 2010
BMW’s exit from Formula One has paved the road for the return of one of its old racing teams, Lotus.
In announcement made by the FIA, the sanctioning body of Formula One said that the famous brand’s return to the F1 stage resulted in the empty slot vacated by BMW Sauber, despite the fact that Sauber is still interested in procuring a team of its own for the 2010 season.
While Sauber’s official application generating good reviews from the Paris-based federation, the team is optimistic that it can return to F1 as the 14th and final team in the grid.
For the record, the rulebooks only allow for a maximum of 13 teams and Sauber’s stature as ‘team no. 14’ is still subject to change, depending on how the other teams are open to having 28 cars for next year.
As far as Lotus is concerned, the team has tied-up with a Malaysian F1 outfit – 1 Malaysia F1 Team – and will be powered by a Cosworth engine. The team’s principal is expected to be Tony Fernandes and joining him as technical director would be Mike Gascoyne.
For those who don’t know, Fernandes is the incumbent CEO of AirAsia, which, coincidentally, is a current sponsor of the Williams team.