Renault finally signs Lotus engine contract UPDATE #2
After watching Sebastian Vettel lose yet another Renault engine in the Korean GP, thereby severely damaging his championship chances, one can't help but muse at the decision by Lotus to drop Cosworth for Renault.
|Lotus gets French power in 2011. Will the team still be called Lotus? Probably not.|
10/23/10 (GMM) As the dark Korea paddock emptied on Saturday night, word spread that Lotus has finally secured its engine supply contract for 2011.
It has been an open secret that the new Malaysian team is switching from Cosworth to Renault, but the naming dispute with Proton was believed to have held up the formalities.
But, whatever the current status of the dispute with Group Lotus, it seems the contracts were at last signed in the new Yeongam paddock late on Saturday.
Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen would not confirm.
"If it happens it will be an interesting deal for our team," he told the Daily Mail.
After Renault, the next step will be the announcement of Kovalainen's new deal for 2011, with his current teammate Jarno Trulli also tipped to return next season.
"At the moment I don't want to talk about it anymore," Kovalainen insisted. "I think we have made good progress this year, so it is of course a very strong possibility for me to carry on here.
"That is all I can say at the moment," he added.
[Editor's Note: Renault or Cosworth power, it does not matter, the Lotus team will remain backmarkers. Why? Because the Cosworth is reported to make more HP than the Renault. So why did they switch? When in doubt, follow the money......]10/23/10 Lotus has secured its switch to Renault engines for 2011 after finally signing its deal for a supply of the French power plants, AUTOSPORT reported.
Although the Hingham-based team had been widely expected to make the move after agreeing an early end to its contract with Cosworth, the deal was held up amid the row over the renaming of the team next year.
With Group Lotus threatening legal action against the team for its use of the Team Lotus moniker, sources suggest that Renault did not want to finalize its deal until there was better clarity on the issue.
Despite there being no official resolution of the naming issue, it is believed that enough progress has been made between the two Lotus parties on the issue that Renault was happy to commit to its supply deal.
It is understood that discussions that have taken place in Korea this weekend have been productive enough to help seal the contract.
AUTOSPORT understands that the deal will not be announced just yet, but sources close to the French car manufacturer suggest it will most likely be made at the Brazilian Grand Prix next month. More at Racer.com