Lotus Type 72 - Click above for high-res image gallery
When BMW announced several weeks ago that it would be withdrawing from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season, the automaker left open the fate of the operations it bought from Peter Sauber. Since then, reports have indicated that the automaker has been evaluating possible buyers for the team.
According to Autocar, one of the possible suitors is Malaysian automaker Proton and the British sportscar maker it owns, Lotus. Team Lotus was a staple of F1 from 1958 until 1994 – winning seven Constructors Championships in that span. During its heyday in the Sixties, Seventies and early Eighties, Team Lotus was one of the greatest innovators in the sport. Unfortunately, after founder Colin Chapman's death, the team eventually withered.
The new Lotus effort would likely be sponsored by long-time Sauber backer Petronas and the team could be led by former Renault and Toyota technical director Mike Gascoyne. So far, there has been no official comment from anyone reported to be involved.