Lotus make evocative return to F1

Team Lotus, once famous in the heyday of founder Colin Chapman for making world champions of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti, are set to return after the FIA yesterday awarded them the 13th entry in next year's Formula One championship.

The team, moribund since 1994, will be backed a company called Malaysia F1 Team, with Tony Fernandes, the founder and chief executive of the Malaysian-based Tune Group which owns Air Asia, as team principal and Mike Gascoyne as technical director. They will use Cosworth engines.

In partnership with the Malaysian government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, Lotus will initially be based in Norfolk, but aim to establish a technical centre at Malaysia's Sepang circuit.

This was bittersweet news for the BMW Sauber team, whose F1 future is in doubt because the German manufacturers are pulling out at the end of the year. The FIA acknowledged their "impressive" new application for an entry but "given the uncertainty about the ownership of the squad" decided to opt for Lotus, while giving BMW Sauber the "14th place" in case any vacancy arises on the 2010 grid. The FIA said they would consult urgently with the existing teams "regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010."

Just too late, BMW yesterday announced that Qadbak Investments Ltd, a Swiss-based foundation "which represents the interests of certain Middle East and European based families," have signed a contract to purchase the team.

"We are pleased to confirm that the FIA have indicated that we may have a place in the 2010 Formula One World Championship," a BMW statement said. "The team expect to line up on the grid for the first race of the 2010 season."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project