Lotus Malaysia F1 TeamIconic brand Lotus will make a surprise return to the Formula 1 grid next season after receiving the 13th and final slot that had been vacated following the withdrawal of BMW in July. The new Lotus F1 team is set to race under the Malaysian flag in 2010, with home-grown drivers, sponsors and a base already being sought. The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Tuesday that, after due diligence and an intensive selection process, it had chosen Lotus F1 over two rival bids.
The project is being funded by the Malaysian government and a series of Malaysian organisations, including Lotus’ parent company Proton Cars, and will be fronted by Tony Fernandes, who successfully turned Air Asia into one of the continent’s most prominent airlines.
"It's all about the right people, the right passion, the right energy,” he says when asked whether disgraced former Renault boss Flavio Briatore would be welcomed. “I always look for hungry people, who really want to be with us. Do it because you love it, or don't be involved. Take underdeveloped marketing opportunities, monetise them, and bring back value to the community." Fernandes explained.
As part of its application to compete in the 2010 championship, the Lotus team agreed an engine supply deal with Cosworth. Lotus will initially be based in Norfolk, some 10 miles from the original Lotus Cars factory in Eastern England, but the future design, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit.
That means, We Malaysian, will have our Malaysian made F1 car on the circuit racing along with other prestigious marque from Italy and Germany, namely Ferrari and Mercedes. It is history in the making indeed !!
1 Malaysia !! MALAYSIA, We Love You !!