Category Archives: Lotus F1 Team

Formula One: Writing yourself out of a job

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The British written press within Formula One have worked themselves up into somewhat of an unnecessary frenzy at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, and have left many followers of the sport asking if they have become surplus to requirements.  Following the drivers press conference on Thursday in which Lewis Hamilton spent a proportion of the session engaging with his followers on Snapchat, members of the British media took to social media to challenge the behaviour of the driver. This questioning of respect shown to them from Lewis latterly became the centre piece for many journalist’s preview for the race weekend.

Following the negative response from elements of the media Lewis Hamilton responded over social media explaining he did not intend to cause offence and that he was simply looking to refresh an element of the Grand Prix weekend.

This explanation drew further criticism from journalists who suggested the purpose of the session was not to entertain fans but to give print media the chance to pose questions to drivers.  They went on to suggest Lewis’ behaviour was a deliberate attempt to avoid challenging questions around his ability to challenge for the 2016 World Championship.

It is fair to say there may have been an element of this in Lewis’ actions, but this suggestion was met with public observation that the quality of questions asked within these sessions is so poor, they rarely generate headline news either way. Journalists then went to explain, again through social media, that the reason for poor/ no questions being asked in these sessions was because they are televised and by the time they had opportunity to document anything from the session the news would already be available through other outlets.

This justification calls into question not only the format of driver press conferences but the rationale for print media attending race events in person at all. Journalists suggesting driver briefing sessions are of no value to them because others get the news out before they can suggest their delivery method is outdated. They, along with their publishers should be looking inwardly at ways in which to present content in formats that reflect consumption models, rather than criticizing something that is out of their control.

British Newspapers coverage of a Formula One weekend typically will take the form of a race report with driver quotes. If Journalists are no longer prepared to ask questions to drivers because other outlets will publish the responses, they, and their employers would be better placed producing race reports based on TV coverage. Investigative journalism within motorsport has long been the reserve of online only outlets such as Motorsport.com.

The actions of select members of the British print media have prompted a response from Lewis which will further reduce their access and further call into question their value in being in the paddock.

With the announcement that the Motorsport Network have taken control of Autosport and Haymarket Motorsport interests, many motorsport journalists will be feeling anxious around future employment security, biting the hand that feeds you may have been the worst possible response.

Formula One: Ricciardo praise for Magnussen

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Daniel Ricciardo was keen to heap praise upon the returning Dane, Kevin Magnussen, when working to tactically avoid a question about whether or not he would miss Pastor Maldonado on the grid in 2016.

After first electing to ‘rib’ this writer’s pronunciation of Pastor (Past OR not Past A as it turns out) through a carbohydrate based pun, Ricciardo commented that rather than give comment on a driving leaving the grid he felt it more appropriate to congratulate Magnussen on making his return.

“Driver’s don’t make it to the podium by chance, to do it on your début is something very special’ remarked Ricciardo, referencing Magnussen’s F1 début at the Australian GP in 2014 for Mclaren Mercedes.

Ricciardo went on to compliment Magnussen saying he was a fair racer and he looked forward to on track battles with the driver through the 2016 season.

Kevin Magnussen is returning to F1 this year with the Renault Sport F1 Team, after leaving the Mclaren Honda team at the end of 2015.

Formula One: Renault Sport Formula One Team launched

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Renault Sport Formula One Team Launched.

The new F1 challenger consists of the Renault R.S.16 chassis, developed and manufactured in Enstone, whilst the Renault R.E.16 power unit will continue to be developed in Viry-Châtillon.

A number of key appointments have been made in the F1 team to avoid any dilution of the specific requirements of Formula One. Bob Bell is appointed F1 Chief Technical Officer and will manage the efforts of Nick Chester as Chassis Technical Director and Rémi Taffin as Engine Technical Director. Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer are confirmed as Renault Sport Formula One Team’s race drivers, and will be supported by Esteban Ocon, who joins the team as Third and Reserve Driver.

Renault announced its partner portfolio at the event. Renault-Nissan Alliance partner Infiniti will continue its journey in Formula One alongside Renault and will enhance its involvement through a specific technology program developing the second generation of energy recovery systems (ERS) for the F1 power unit. The technical collaboration between Total and Renault will continue in 2016.

Renault also announced new partnerships with other prestigious brands, including premium watch supplier, Bell & Ross, revolutionary audio systems inventors, Devialet, clothing company Bestseller (with the brand Jack & Jones) as well as continuing relationships with the F1 team’s current partners, including Microsoft and EMC. Renault will continue its working relationship with Gravity Motorsports, an affiliate of the Genii Capital Group, which will retain a minority shareholding in the F1 team. Genii and Gravity worked tirelessly to ensure the team’s survival in extremely difficult circumstances and Renault is pleased to recognize this commitment as Gerard Lopez remains a non-executive director of the team.

It is likely that the livery seen at the launch event will evolve in the coming weeks before the season opener in Australia.

Formula One: Watch the launch of Renault F1 LIVE

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At 13:15 (12:15 GMT) today, February 3rd, Renault will formally reveal their 2016 F1 intentions. It is expected the team will announce the 2016 driver line up, which is widely expected to be Jolyon Palmer, Kevin Magnussen, and Esteban Ocon as reserve and development driver.

With the team returning to full works status and the departure of Pastor Maldonado along with PDVSA and Venezuela Tourism branding substantial livery changes and team branding are expected.

Renault Sport are streaming the launch live, to follow the event click here.

Formula One: Change of Leadership at Lotus F1 Team

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Mexican Grand Prix - Practice Day - Mexico City, Mexico

The Lotus F1 Team transition back into the Renault F1 Team continues with the confirmation earlier this week that Eric Lux and Andrew Ruhan have left the company.

Eric Lux, a founding partner of Genii Capital, the previous owners of the Lotus F1 Team, took directorship with the team in 2010. His move away from the team further suggests Genii Capital’s future involvement in the team will be minimal. At this time there has been no indication over the future of Gerard Lopez, Genii Capital co-founder,  with the Enstone based F1 team.

Andrew Ruhan, an entrepreneur finding success in the property sector, joined the team as an investor in a director position in 2013. He latterly became a partner within Genii Capital. Andrew Ruhan’s involvement with the team came at a time of refinancing and consolidation. It is not clear if the investments made by either Genii Capital or Andrew Ruhan have been or will be recovered as part of the Renault takeover of the team.

Formula One: Renault completes purchase of the Lotus F1 Team

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Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl, an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, formally and successfully completed the acquisition by Groupe Renault  of a controlling shareholding of Lotus F1 Team Limited.
The new team name, full management structure, team partners and other details will be announced during an event to be held in Paris in February.

In the interim, a new board of directors has been appointed, with Jérôme Stoll as Chairman and Cyril Abiteboul as Managing Director.

Following the signing of a letter of intent by Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl on 28 September 2015, the parties entered into the various agreements on 3 December 2015. Since then, all parties involved have been working relentlessly to comply with all of the contractual and legal obligations under the agreements to enable the transaction to successfully complete. The technical teams are making good progress to have the 2016 car ready for testing in Barcelona at the end of February.
At this time the team have made no comment on possible driver line up or sponsorship changes. With PDVSA sponsorship coming under scrutiny, questions remain as to how 2016 funding plans.

Formula One: Renault Confirm 2016 Return to F1

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Following the September announcement of the signing of a Letter of Intent with Lotus F1 Team, teams at Renault continued to evaluate the possibility of a return to Formula 1. Particular attention was paid to competing successfully with its own team in a financially sound way starting in 2016.

“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win–even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault.

As a full team, Renault will take maximum benefit from its victories. The payback as an engine supplier proved to be limited. The return on the investment necessitated by the new engine regulations and the return in terms of image were low.

Work continues on finalizing the terms of the acquisition of Lotus F1 Team in the shortest timeframe possible. The principal contracts were signed on December 3, 2015. Lotus F1 Team effectively stands out as the best partner. Renault and Lotus F1 Team have known each other for 15 years and were world champions together in 2005 and 2006.

Renault has had uninterrupted involvement in Formula 1 for almost 40 years. In 1977, it revolutionised the championship with the introduction of turbocharging, a technique that soon became the norm in the sport. Renault has since taken part in more than 600 grand prix, claiming 168 race wins, 12 Constructors’ titles and 11 Drivers’ crowns.

Renault’s decision to continue its involvement in Formula 1 is confirmation that it sees motorsport as an essential part of the brand’s identity. Formula 1 is the ultimate symbol of the passion for automobiles. Passion defines Renault as expressed by its brand signature, ‘Passion for Life’. In addition to attracting many customers, Formula 1 also fuels employee motivation. As the pinnacle of motor sport, Formula 1 demands technological and operational excellence. The championship serves as a showcase for the technological expertise that Renault dials into its products for the benefit of its customers.

Formula 1 is a means for Renault to accelerate development and remain at the forefront of the sport’s technological progress. It simultaneously allows Renault to build bridges between the advanced technologies seen in the world championship and its road cars, particularly in the fields of electric and hybrid vehicles. Consistent with its commitment to F1, Renault will develop its R.S. range by stepping up investment in order to be active on every continent and in even more segments with vehicles that meet the needs of their different markets.

Formula 1 serves to promote awareness of the Renault brand and its image in all its markets across the world. Formula 1 is one of the sports that enjoys the most media coverage worldwide thanks to a following on five continents, particularly in emerging markets. It attracts 450 million television viewers annually and its scope for growth is enormous thanks to opportunities founded on new technologies, social networks, video games, etc. that have yet to be fully exploited.

In January, Renault will provide more detailed information about the F1 programme ahead of the 2016 championship.

Formula One: Lotus F1 Team announce Jolyon Palmer as race driver for 2016

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Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that Third and Reserve driver Jolyon Palmer has been promoted to a race seat for the 2016 season, completing the team’s driver line-up alongside Pastor Maldonado.

Jolyon, 24, has driven for the team in the majority of this season’s Free Practice 1 sessions, and will be back in the E23 Hybrid at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix. He joined Lotus F1 Team in January, following an outstanding GP2 campaign in 2014 where he won the championship in dominant fashion, becoming the first British driver to win the GP2 Series since Lewis Hamilton in 2006.

Gerard Lopez, Chairman and Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team:
“We are very pleased to announce that exciting British racing talent Jolyon Palmer is promoted to a race seat with the team for next season. We’ve seen Jolyon’s hard work and talent this season in the way he’s approached his third driver role and he is a really popular choice for the team. As well as having a great future ahead of him behind the wheel, Jolyon is an intelligent and highly marketable asset to the team. He deserves this opportunity, and everyone at Enstone is excited to see what he can achieve next year.”

Jolyon Palmer, 2015 Lotus F1 Team, Third and Reserve driver; 2016 race driver:
“I’m obviously delighted that I’ll be racing in Formula 1 next year. Lotus F1 Team gave me a tremendous opportunity this season and I thank them for assisting my development to a level where they have put their trust in me for a crucial season in their evolution. I’ve enjoyed and learnt a lot from my year as Third and Reserve driver so I’m looking forward to putting this into practice as a race driver in 2016. I can’t wait for next season to get underway!”