Nielsen agrees switch to Lotus


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The Independent Online

Steve Nielsen has finally accepted an offer to join Team Lotus as their new sporting director after turning them down last year.

Nielsen will take up his new role from 12 December, replacing Dieter Gass who was instrumental in helping the team return to Formula One at the start of last season.

Nielsen has considerable F1 experience after previously working for Team Lotus in their original guise, before spells at Tyrrell, Benetton and Arrows. He rejoined Benetton in 2000 as sporting manager, a role he has retained through to their current incarnation as Renault.

Team principal Tony Fernandes said: "I first met Steve in Singapore in 2010 and I offered him a job then which he turned down, so I am delighted he has finally taken up the chance to join us. It is a good mark of our team we can attract people of Steve's calibre.

Meanwhile, Jean-Michel Jalinier will replace Bernard Rey as president of Renault Sport F1 from 1 January.

Jalinier will take responsibility for the strategic operation of the organisation ahead of the 2012 season – when they will provide engines to four teams – in addition to overseeing the adaptation to new engine regulations due to come into force in 2014. Jalinier has worked for Renault for more than 25 years and has held numerous positions there.