Lotus to end Cosworth engine deal for 2011 Formula 1 season
Lotus have agreed to end their three-year engine supply deal with Cosworth at the end of the current Formula 1 season after just one year of the partnership.
The Hingham-based team signed the initial engine deal when they first entered the sport almost a year ago, as did rival new teams Virgin Racing, and Hispania Racing.
Lotus have been linked with switch to Renault engines for months, and gossip had built up again in the paddock in recent weeks before team principal Tony Fernandes hinted at a possible move on the BBC’s F1 Forum programme at Monza following the Italian Grand Prix.
Fernandes said: “We have to do something different and it will be done soon. Lots of negotiations have gone on over the last couple of weeks and we’re very happy with the outcome.
“We want to move up the grid and we want to be up there with the Red Bulls and Ferraris in years to come – we’re not going to do that overnight but we’ve got to make those constant steps forwards.
“There’s nothing wrong with the [Cosworth] engine but we’ve had some issues. Watch this space. There will be an announcement soon.”
On the back of Fernandes’ comments all but confirming the switch to Renault, a brief statement issued by Cosworth read: “Cosworth has reached an agreement in principle with Lotus Racing whereby the team’s Cosworth engine supply agreement will come to a conclusion at the end of the current Formula One season.
“This agreement is subject to contract and until the agreement is signed, neither party will be making any further comment.”
Renault already supply engines to Red Bull, as well as a works team, and suggested earlier in the season that the team could expand its customer engine programme.