Lotus F1 Racing wind-tunnel model – Click above for high-res gallery
It's been fifteen years since Lotus last competed in Formula One, but that dry spell is about to come to an end as the British engineering firm and sportscar maker is set to join the grid once again for next season as one of four new teams in the series. Preparations appear to be going full-steam ahead, and Lotus F1 Racing (as the team will officially be known) has released a pair of images depicting a full-scale wind-tunnel model of the car they'll be running next year.
Like the other new entries – and possibly a handful of veteran teams – the Lotus F1 car will be running under Cosworth power, taking advantage of the low-cost engine package commissioned by the FIA. Having worked with nearly every team on the grid, Mike Gascoyne serves as technical director for the new outfit, with Air Asia owner Tony Fernandes temporarily serving as team principal. The team is being fielded by a consortium of Malaysian investors including the aforementioned airline, the government, Lotus owner and local automaker Proton, the Sepang circuit and the national motorsport and automobile associations.
There's been talk as well of Malaysia's former A1GP team folding into Lotus F1 Racing now that it has withdrawn from the series itself, while speculation continues regarding who'll drive for the team. Toyota's Jarno Trulli is tipped to be one leading candidate, while Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy – who has won races in A1GP, GP2 and World Series by Renault over the past couple of years – could prove a compelling choice for the team's Malaysian owners and sponsors, which could as well include national oil consortium and former Sauber sponsor Petronas. Follow the jump for the full press release from Lotus, and check out the images in the gallery below.