2011 Lotus Renault is on brave end of brave
19 January, 2011
Jan.19 (PVM) Lotus Renault are upbeat about the R31, which is in the final throes of preparation at the team’s Enstone headquarters, and have admitted that it will be a cutting edge Formula 1 chassis upon which they pin their hopes for 2011.
In a video interview Lotus Renault technical director James Allison, “This time of the year is a heady mix of both thrilling excitement of finding out, confirming that all your plans are coming to fruition and also abject terror that you will not deliver the thing in time. Anyone who follows the sport will have seen that words like aggressive, brave, are being bandied around across several of the teams this year for their solutions. I believe that we have chosen a direction that is really on the brave end of brave.”
In 2010 the team failed to win a race but made a vast improvement on a forgettable 2009 season for the team which saw the end of the Flavio Briatore era and the arrival of Eric Boullier at the helm of the squad.
For 2011 there are more changes with the Proton owned Lotus Cars becoming an important partner in their role as title sponsors, resulting in the demise of the Renault F1 Team and the birth of the Lotus Renault.
Boullier makes no secret of the team’s overriding ambitions, stating on the same video, “We want to win and we want to be successful in Formula 1. The more attention we can get from the fans and the Lotus people and from all our sponsors, we put ourselves into a pressure mode because we have to win.”
He added, “We know now we will be much more competitive than last year. We don’t know yet obviously what the other teams, and the other forces, will be in F1 – but we already know we will be much stronger.”
Chief operating officer Patrick Louis is singing off the same song sheet, “The objective for the team is to finish within the top three in the championship. To get along to that objective, based also on the Resource Restriction programmes we have to run, we have been choosing and opting to re-insource a major part of the outsource jobs we have.”
Lotus Renault have been embroiled in a high profile spat, with the Tony Fernandes owned Team Lotus, regarding the use of the Lotus name from the moment the partnership was announced late last year.
The team have also announced the return to the legendary black and gold livery which harks back to the JPS era of both Colin Chapman and later Ayrton Senna. Again the team are courting controversy as they may fall foul of anti-tobacco laws.
However Allison is bullish about the decision to go black and gold, “We’ve been fortunate last year with our car we had a very attractive paint scheme and it’s an absolute thrill that this year we’ve managed to surpass even that. We’ve got a paint job on our car this year which looks utterly magnificent. I think it will be the envy of the grid and I’m looking forward to seeing it go round the track.”