Lotus confirm 2011 Renault engine deal, Red Bull extend contract

2011 F1 teams

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Korea, 2010

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Korea, 2010

After months of speculation Lotus have confirmed they will use Renault engines in 2011.

According to a Lotus spokesperson, a supply of KERS technology from Renault is “under discussion at the moment”.

Meanwhile Red Bull have announced they will continue using Renault engines for a further two years.

Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes said:

There has obviously been a great deal of speculation about which engine will be powering our cars from 2011 and now the announcement has been made I think everyone can see just how ambitious we really are.

The combination of the Renault engine and the Red Bull Technology gearbox and hydraulics gives our design and aero teams a successful, tried and tested platform to work with for next year?s car.

2010 has been all about building up our team from scratch and in just one year we have laid the foundations for many exciting seasons to come and the partnership with Renault will dramatically accelerate our development plans, both on and off track.

That is an important point ?ǣ we have started a partnership with Renault and, much like taking on experienced drivers in our first year, we will be working with people who know how to win and who will help push us even further forward towards the front of the grid.

We are realistic ?ǣ we know what needs to be done to be challenging for ultimate honours in Formula One and this partnership will play a very important role in helping us push ahead.
Tony Fernandes

Lotus has previously announced it will use a gearbox and hydraulic system supplied by Red Bull in 2011. They also intend to revive the Team Lotus name although this is currently being challenged by Group Lotus.

Red Bull’s contract extension comes after the team were blocked from obtaining Mercedes engines at the end of last season.

Team principal Christian Horner has previously claimed the Renault engines are down on power compared to Mercedes and Ferrari units

As part of their new deal Renault logos will appear on Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel’s helmets as of this weekend.

Horner said:

We?re pleased to announce this extension. We have always enjoyed a very straightforward relationship with Renault and they have supported us extremely fairly during the past four seasons, contributing to our thirteen grand prix victories so far. The relationship continues to evolve and we look forward to working with them during our 2011 Formula One World Championship campaign.
Christian Horner

Red Bull have been using Renault engines since the 2007 season.

Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams

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35 comments on Lotus confirm 2011 Renault engine deal, Red Bull extend contract

  1. Chris P said on 5th November 2010, 11:12

    Just tweeted Mike to see if there are any details about KERS in the deal.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th November 2010, 11:15

    Saw that one coming.

  3. Good to see.
    Don’t think they will be solid midfield though, am expecting them to score the odd point in the busy races, competing with Toro Rosso and getting into Q2 on occasion.

  4. Group Louts? Good grief! :-)

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th November 2010, 11:36

    Something interesting that I’ve just picked up on (with a little bit of help): Formula 1 has now arranged itself into four very distinct, identical factions.

    Mercedes
    McLaren, Mercedes GP and Force India

    Ferrari
    Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Sauber

    Renault
    Red Bull, Renault and Lotus

    Cosworth
    Virgin, Williams and Hispania

    Four engine suppliers, each giving engines to three teams – and most are giving engines to a top, middle and lower-tier team. It will be interesting to see how this pays out politically, because no one engine supplier will have more power over another (though the power of the Cosworth teams is questionable, and I suspect Virgin are lining themselves up for a Renault engine deal).

    • dyslexicbunny said on 5th November 2010, 14:20

      Cool catch. I had wondered about it but other things are on my mind. I definitely agree with the politics.

    • Jarred Walmsley said on 6th November 2010, 8:29

      I beg to differ, I think no engine supplier supplies engines to each tier team.

      Mercedes
      Top-tier – McLaren
      Middle-tier – Mercedes/Force India

      Renault
      Top-tier – Red Bull/Renault
      Middle-tier – Renault/Lotus

      Ferrari
      Top-tier – Ferrari
      Middle-tier – Torro Rosso/Sauber

      Cosworth
      Middle-tier – Williams
      Bottom-tier – Virgin/HRT

      So really no engine supplier has a engine in each tier. Renault being the closest, however I think with the Renault engine and a RBR gearbox/hydraulics system Lotus will be firmly in the middle tier possibly even scoring the occasional point or two next year

  6. King Six said on 5th November 2010, 11:41

    This season is still a thriller with 2 races to go yet I can’t help but be unable to wait for next season already.

    What with KERS returning, Pirelli tyres, no more dubious diffusers and even that dodgy rear wing being introduced, and some of the new teams being much more competitive, should be a blast.

    Hopefully Mercedes capitalises on abandoning this year early whilst Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren go all out right to the end, so we really have the epic four way constructor battles with Schumi involved.

    With 20 races on for next season and the new teams signing deals with Red Bull, Renault, Williams and being linked with Toyota’s old F1 division …the sport is in pretty healthy nick right now.

    Looking good, F1, looking good.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 5th November 2010, 14:11

      You know, my personal fantasy is that Renault get right in there as well, 5 teams going for the championship, and hopefully all their drivers in with a shot.

      KERS on KERS, hopefully the tyres are made of cheese, a competative midfeild.

      The only bad thing is the extreme competative nature at the top limits the scope for underdog victories.

  7. Hare (@hare) said on 5th November 2010, 11:49

    Good thing about ‘Group Louts’, is they’re a bunch of ‘cripples’, and there’s nothing more heart warming than seeing a bunch of ‘cripples’, get up, walk then run. So here’s hoping they do something spectacular next year :)

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th November 2010, 12:12

    Autosport are running a story on Renault’s reaction to the Lotus deal and increasing their relationship with Red Bull. It’s all pretty standard stuff – we’re proud to be involved, we hope the relationship can continue; data, data, data – but it gets interesting whenthey start talking Lotus because they don’t refer to the team as “Lotus”, but rather as “1Malaysia Racing Team” …

    • Jim N said on 5th November 2010, 12:40

      I wouldn’t read too much into the 1Malaysia Racing Team bit although it’s slightly worrying. 1Malaysia Racing Team is the corporate name, they just race as Lotus Racing. Group Lotus won’t let them use the Lotus Racing name next year, so the deal can’t be announced as that. The ownership of the Team Lotus name is currently going through the courts and so the deal cannot be made under that. So they had little alternative but to announce it as with 1Malaysia Racing Team, unless they waited untill the Team Lotus thing is settled, which is obviously too far off for everybody.

      • If only. Look for Carlos Ghosn to make an announcement today or tomorrow that Renault F1 will race as Lotus next year. Tony Fernandes has been stitched up by the Malaysian government.

        • BasCB said on 5th November 2010, 21:03

          As far as I understand this guy, he will have had some nice financial motivation to go along as his case was a good one and his connections are quite fine.

          In the end it was him who took Mahathir in to mediate and make a deal instead of just a war of press statements and court orders.

          And would Renault F1 do good to go the Lotus route quite yet? This year did wonders to their image in the sport and they have Kubica to make it even better next year as well as the russian deals to supply some money.

          Can you imagine Kubica being glad to stay with them if they change hands again, possibly bringing a management change along as well as Todt Jr. would possibly be pushing for a role as well as the Group Lotus people.

      • BasCB said on 5th November 2010, 21:06

        I also feel, that the naming thing might be more of both Fernandez and Renault being carefull not to stand on anyones toes at the moment while the dealmaking for the Lotus name is still going on in Malaysian politics and UK courts.
        Still, expect Fernandez to win one way or another, either with having Team Lotus for some years to go or get financial means to further build up the team.

    • BasCB said on 5th November 2010, 20:55

      I like Buxtons take on this (read here http://willthef1journo.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/the-lotus-situation-in-a-nutshell/)

      Next season Lotus will not allow Lotus to call itself Lotus because Lotus wants to do a deal to take over Renault and call it Lotus so Lotus will have to call itself something else other than Lotus.

      and

      And that’s before we even get into the fact that Lotus has just signed to use Renault engines next season so if Renault is called Lotus but Lotus can’t be called Lotus but will be using Renault engines and Renault will be called Lotus and I’ve gone cross-eyed.

  9. I think Lotus will be much better next year

  10. jihelle (@jihelle) said on 5th November 2010, 13:49

    Lotus-Renault brings back nice memories.Now, they paint the cars black and gold, hire Bruno Senna as a driver and I fell 25 years younger.

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 5th November 2010, 14:13

    If I was Renault I’d have cancelled the Red Bull contract given how much they’ve moaned about them this year.

  12. Younger Hamilton said on 5th November 2010, 15:19

    Good for Lotus even if its RED BULL Tech their inheriting or grabing its really great to see them moving forward hope they’re a big challenge in 2011

  13. and there’s rumour that PROTON might consider buy renaultF1 team and name it as Lotus-Renault and dany bahar will be the team principal

    and one of tony fernandes’s tweet on his tweeter today is:

    Time to move here. Away from insects ,thieves and destroyers of postive things just for their ego.

    it sounds like he’s already been defeated in his fight for lotus name for his F1 team

    • BasCB said on 5th November 2010, 21:11

      These rumours are on the table for a while. But will Proton give Bahar that much support and financial means?

      The Proton/Renault connection was looking less likely in the past weeks, both Lotus and Proton are losing bags of money and the idea of making Lotus go upmarket and compete with Ferrari et all sounds more like an ego trip than a real bussiness concept to me.

      Fernandez is a pretty clever businessman, so expect him to tweet what he feels makes sense and he will win from these dealings one way or the other.

  14. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 5th November 2010, 19:14

    We’re pleased to announce this extension. We have always enjoyed a very straightforward relationship with Renault and they have supported us extremely fairly during the past four seasons, contributing to our thirteen grand prix victories so far. The relationship continues to evolve and we look forward to working with them during our 2011 Formula One World Championship campaign.
    Christian Horner

    …and we all look forward to two more years of hearing about how underpowered your car is.

  15. Chris said on 5th November 2010, 19:50

    Hahah tony Fernandes calling people insects and theives! LOL. He’s the one who bought a brand and dragged it through the gutter

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