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18 September, 2009 - 08:31 By Staff Reporter

Lotus Brand back in F1

The iconic brand of Lotus is back in Formula 1 motor racing for the 2010 season following a 15-year absence.

Lotus F1 Team will be based in Norfolk and funded from Malaysia. The FIA has awarded the ‘new boys’ 13th slot on the grid.It received the nod ahead of the BMW Sauber Team. The FIA said that as BMW has announced it will withdraw its support in 2010, “there are still uncertainties regarding the future ownership of the team.”Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes is the founder and CEO of the Malaysian-based Tune Group and owner of Air Asia airline whose subsidiary, Air Asia X, has expanded its low cost, long haul flights from Stansted to Kuala Lumpur and ongoing destinations. A partnership between the Malaysian government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, 1Malaysia F1 Team returns the Lotus name as a constructor to Formula One for the first time since 1994. The team will initially be based at the RTN facility in Norfolk, built by Toyota, but the future design, R & D, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose-built at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.The team’s technical director, Mike Gascoyne, has over 20 years of experience in Formula One having previously performed the same role for the Force India, Toyota, Renault and Jordan Formula One teams.As part of its application to compete in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the team has agreed an engine supply deal with Cosworth.

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