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Lotus F1, the Malaysian upstart team trading on the name of the famed British sports car maker, is apparently switching from Cosworth to Renault power for the 2011 season.
With Renault powering the dominant Red Bull Racing entry, the factory works Renault team, and a host of other teams, Lotus is hoping to acquire some of the magic contained within the French V8s. Negotiations between the two camps reportedly took place between the two camps at the British Grand Prix, but no announcement has been made.
While Lotus and Cosworth have a long historical alliance, Lotus has previously used Renault power, most notably when Ayrton Senna notably won four races for Lotus with Renault power in 1985.
[Source: Inside Line]
Lotus has just confirmed its driver lineup for the 2010 Formula One season with both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen signed on to pilot the new Lotus cars on the team’s rookie season and the brand’s return to F1.
Trulli was long rumored to join the Lotus team as he has a strong relationship with the team’s technical director Mike Gascoyne, having worked with him twice already under both Renault and Toyota. Trulli has been looking for a ride since Toyota decided not to race in the 2010 season. His skill has been in doubt, often finishing at the back of the pack in most races – although we may now see if that had more to do with the Toyota team and its cars.
As for Kovalainen, he has been in search of a ride since his contract was not renewed with McLaren, which decided to go with World Champion Jensen Button instead.
The 2010 F1 season is shaping up to be an interesting one with three other rookie teams (Campos, Manor and US F1) joining Lotus to make up a 26 car grid. The season starts March 12 in Bahrain.