In December 2010 Renault signed the deal with Lotus Cars to buy its 25% stake in the team, with the team to be renamed Lotus Renault GP for 2011, under a sponsorship deal signed with Lotus Cars until 2017. The chassis designed by James Allison, Naoki Tokunaga, Tim Densham and Dirk de Beer was the clean sheet design. It featured a clear V-shaped nose, large intakes which were much larger compared to other cars. The power unit was Renault RS27-2011 2,400 cc V8 engine with KERS. First Russian F1 driver Vitaly Petrov was retained by the team on a two-year deal, and was joined by Nick Heidfeld for the start of the season. Heidfeld was replaced by Bruno Senna, nephew of Ayrton Senna, starting from Belgian Grand Prix. Petrov began the season with the brilliant 3rd place in the season opening Australian Grand Prix, the result which remained his best in Formula One. Later the season Petrov scored seven more finishes in the points and finished the season 10th with 37 points. Heidfeld was 11th in the Championship with 34 points and one podium (3rd in Malaysia) despite started only in 11 rounds. Senna, who started the season as Renault test driver, got the second seat in the team for remaining eight rounds and scored points only once finishing 9th in the Italian Grand Prix.
|Vitaly Petrov||10||Lotus Renault GP|