- Founded: (1952) (2010) 2011
- Based: Norfolk, England
- World Constructors' Titles: 7
- World Drivers' Titles: 6
- Grand Prix Victories: 79
- Pole Positions: 107
A Brief History:
The Lotus racing-car heritage goes back to 1952, when the engineer Colin Chapman built the first car and founded his company, Lotus Engineering. His Team Lotus began racing in Formula One in 1958 with his cars. By 1960, Lotus cars finally met with success, when Stirling Moss scored pole position and then victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in a Lotus Climax. The team would go on to write the history of the series throughout the 1960s and 1970s, with some of the greatest names in racing, including Moss, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti and Ayrton Senna. After a long battle with the revived Lotus team based in Malaysia, the Renault team officially became the Lotus team and in 2011 the great name was back in the sport for a second revival. Now led by Eric Boullier, the team was built on the strong base of the Enstone team that had won so many world titles with Benetton and Renault, and which was now turning back to its own history and adding the "new" Lotus name to that. Going from strength to strength.
The First Rebirth of Lotus:
The revival of the fourth-most successful team in the history of Formula 1 is being steered by a Malaysian company. The Lotus Car Company is owned by the Malaysian car company Proton, which also races Lotus cars in the IndyCar series in the United States. The Lotus Racing team is a separate entity, run by 1Malaysia F1 Team, a company formed by the Malaysian government and a Malaysian consortium including Proton, Sepang International Circuit, Tune Group, Naza Motors, the Motorsports Association of Malaysia and Automobile Association of Malaysia. The new Lotus Racing team was born in a revival of the old Lotus racing team in 2010, with the backing of Clive Chapman, the son of the founder, Colin Chapman, who died in 1982. After his death, the team continued with different directors before finally closing down after the 1994 season. The last race victory had come in 1987 at the United States Grand Prix East, in Detroit, with Ayrton Senna driving. The new team was revived by a Malaysian owner.
The Foundation for the Second Rebirth:
When Renault began racing under its own name in 2002 few people in F1 thought it would win the championship within three years - let alone win again the following year. With the purchase by Renault - the team's engines are built in France, the chassis in the UK - and the return of Flavio and the arrival of Fernando Alonso, things soon began to change. Then when it went into partnership with Lotus and Renault stayed in the team the engines remained being made in France, while the chassis was built in England at the Enstone factory. But now the team was called Lotus.
After two years in retirement Kimi Raikkonen returned to race for Lotus in 2012 and immediately showed that he had not lost any of his racing finesse. By the Singapore Grand Prix in September he was third in the series, although he had yet to give the team its first victory. He was not the only force, however, as his teammate, Romain Grosjean, was practically a rookie - although he had done nine races with the Renault team in 2009 - and he had returned to race again now at the Lotus team, and scored three podiums by the same race of Singapore. Grosjean, however, was less experienced than Raikkonen and had been involved in far more accidents than podiums. Still, the team proved to be one of the strongest. Grosjean was almost a rookie, and made several errors, but he also had great results when he finished the races. Raikkonen continued to be a force in the championship and led many people to ask if he could win the title without winning a race.