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Team Lotus renews deal with Renault, gets Red Bull KERS

Glancing down the F1 roster this year has lead to a little confusion for many. That's because there are two teams that lay claim to the Lotus name, and they're both powered by Renault. The French automaker and engine supplier is stuck in the middle of the naming-rights tug-of-war, but if you were hoping things might be clarified for next season, don't hold your breath. Because while the real Lotus continues its partnership with Renault over one team (the one in the black and gold in the middle of the pack), Renault has also renewed its partnership with the other Lotus (the one in the green and yellow near the back of the field).

The agreement between Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1 will see the two collaborating (read: the former buying engines from the latter) for another couple of seasons until the end of 2013, and leaves the door open for further collaboration when the new engine regulations take effect. But the new deal also brings Red Bull into the fold, the championship team providing Team Lotus with the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for the first time since it began racing a couple of years ago.

The inclusion of Red Bull's KERS in the engine package not only gives Team Lotus a chance at advancing up the grid from its current backmarker position to challenge the teams that already have it farther upfield. But it also further cements Red Bull's position as Renault's premier team in place of the other Lotus team that was once the French company's factory outfit.
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Singapore, 25th September 2011

Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1 have confirmed that their existing engine deal is to be extended for a further year to the end of 2013 and the end of the V8 engine formula, with the aim to continue working together when the new engine regulations come into force. Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will also provide the Anglo-Malaysian squad with KERS systems for the first time for the duration of the agreement.

Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus Team Principal: "Having established an incredibly good working partnership since the first days of our agreement we are absolutely delighted that Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will be playing such an integral role in the ongoing development of our team until at least 2013, and then we are aiming to keep working together when the new rules are introduced. They are both passionate, dedicated teams of people with whom we have a growing relationship that is creating a number of exciting opportunities for us for the future. They share our vision for where we want to take our team, and we are very proud to have their power pushing us forward.

"Not only will we be able to build on everything we have learnt through working with Renault and Red Bull Technology in 2011, but we will now have the added benefit of KERS for next year, which really is a major step forward for our team. We have done the very best job we can this year but without that extra power we are always competing on a different level to the teams ahead, so to give our drivers that boost is a key element of helping us catch the cars ahead, and compete with them when we do so."

Jean-Fran├žois Caubet, Managing Director of Renault Sport F1: "This year we have established solid foundations with Team Lotus and this latest agreement consolidates the relationship that we look forward to continuing for many seasons to come. Renault is in F1 to display the quality of its product, so we need to be associated with teams that clearly have potential. The steps Team Lotus has made on and off track with its technical structure and facilities have given us a confidence they will achieve their aims. KERS is now an essential part to a competitive performance in F1 today and we hope this supply will help the team continue its evolution. Furthermore a wider experience of using the KERS system at this point in time will help in the development of the powerful energy recovery systems that will be introduced under the future engine regulations."

Christian Horner, Team Principal of Red Bull Racing: "We're very happy to extend the relationship between Red Bull Technology and Team Lotus, which already utilises our gearboxes, to include KERS for 2012 onwards. This endorses the joint venture between Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology, which will continue to develop in the coming months. Hopefully this will enable Team Lotus to build on the significant progress they have already made this season."

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