Lotus Racing was one of three F1 new entries in F1 in 2010 alongside Hispania Racing Team and Virgin Racing. The team was set up by a group of Malaysian businessmen led by Tony Fernandes using a license from Lotus Cars owner Proton, for the use of the Lotus name in Formula One. Since the original team Lotus collapse in 1994, the rights for the name Team Lotus belonged to David Hunt, brother of former F1 champion James Hunt. Proton, the Malaysian car company which owns Lotus Cars, gave permission for the team to use the Lotus brand in Formula One. So in his first year in F1 the team used the name Lotus Racing. In September 2010 Tony Fernandez had acquired the name rights of Team Lotus from David Hunt, and for the 2011 season the team was renamed marking the official rebirth of Team (or rather name) Lotus in Formula One. The car was designed by Mike Gascoyne (Chief Technical Officer) and Elliot Dason-Barber (Head of Vehicle Dynamics), and was powered by Cosworth CA2010 V8 engine. Fernandez signed duo of experienced Jarno Trulli (ex-Toyota) and McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen for the Lotus Racing debut season. Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy was also confirmed as the team’s test and reserve driver. During the season the car had a lot of technical problems, especially with hydraulics, but it was evident that Lotus was the clear faster of the three new teams – however still not so fast like even slowest old-timers. Lotus Racing finished the season with no points, like all 3 newcomers. This scale model by Spark represents Lotus T127 raced in the European Grand Prix at Valencia Street Circuit. The new Lotus Racing strongly emphasized continuity with the classic Team Lotus, and the 9th round of the 2010 championship was considered by them as 500th WDC Grand Prix in the history of the Lotus make. However, the celebration of the anniversary failed – Trulli finished 21st and last, behind both Virgins and both HRT cars. Kovalainen’s Lotus was sent airborne and out of the race after contact on lap 9 with Mark Webber’s Red Bull breaking the way up after an early pit stop.
|Heikki Kovalainen||19||Lotus Racing|