Lotus back, BMW saved

It’s been 15 years since Lotus last competed in F1, but as of 2010, they’re back. Lotus F1 will occupy the 13th spot on the grid next season, backed by a group of Malaysian entrepreneurs.

Lotus the car maker is owned by Malaysia’s national car manufacturer Proton, so the badge will return to the sport. And now that ex-Ferrari brand guru Danny Bahar is CEO at Lotus – he stuck Prancing Horses on everything you see in the shops – they should be a happy union between road and racing.

Lotus F1 also has ‘The Rottweiler’ Mike Gascoyne as technical director, who has spent time with Toyota and Force India recently, so knows a thing or too about building race cars.

The new team will be based just ten miles from the car factory, in Norfolk, with a purpose built factory being under construction at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.

The FIA are also consulting existing teams on whether it can accommodate the current BMW Sauber team, now that a backer has been found to buy the outift following the news that BMW is pulling out at the end of the year.

Qadbak, a Swiss-based foundation representing the interests of certain European and Middle-Eastern families, will be hoping that the other teams will green light them to become the 14th squad on the grid next year – taking the car total to 28 runners. That would be a big grid!

Talking of comebacks, the Canadian GP at Montreal is set to return on next season’s calendar, provisionally over the June 6th weekend.

This year was the first time since 1987 that the race wasn’t a fixture on the F1 tour, due to some disagreement with Bernie Ecclestone. But that’s all sorted now, so it’s coming back.

Scene of some spectacular racing – and Robert Kubica’s huge crash in 2007! – I should imagine Montreal will be welcomed back with open arms by fans and teams alike.

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