- This article is about the Formula One team that competed as Lotus from the 2012 Formula One season. For the original 1954–1994 motorsport team, see Team Lotus. For the team that competed in 1995 as Pacific Team Lotus, see Pacific Racing. For the team that competed in 2010 as Lotus Racing and 2011 as Team Lotus, see Team Lotus (2010–11).
|Full Name||Lotus F1 Team|
|Noted Staff||Éric Boullier|
|Noted Drivers||Kimi Räikkönen|
|Formula One World Championship|
|Debut||2012 Australian Grand Prix|
|Final race||2013 Brazilian Grand Prix|
Lotus F1 Team was a British Formula One racing team. The team competed under the Lotus name from 2012, following the renaming of the former Renault team based at Enstone in Oxfordshire. Lotus F1 Team is named after its branding partner Group Lotus. The team achieved a race victory and fourth position in the Formula One Constructors' World Championship in their first season under the Lotus title.
The team's Formula One history started in 1981 as the Toleman Motorsport team, based in Witney, Oxfordhire, England. In 1986 the team was renamed to Benetton Formula, following its purchase in 1985 by the Benetton family. In 1992/3 the team moved a few miles to a new base in Enstone. Michael Schumacher won the drivers' championship with the team in both 1994 and 1995. In 1995 the team also won the constructors' championship. Renault purchased the team in 2000, and in 2002 they renamed it to Renault F1. In both 2005 and 2006 Fernando Alonso won the drivers' championship with the team, and the team won the constructors' championship (with Giancarlo Fisichella as their other driver). At the end of 2009, Renault sold a majority stake in the team to Genii. For 2011, Lotus Cars became involved with the team and it was renamed, first to Lotus Renault GP, then for 2012 to "Lotus F1 Team". The Lotus name initially returned to Formula One in 2010 through Tony Fernandes's Lotus Racing team, which used the name on licence from Group Lotus. Group Lotus later terminated the licence, but Fernandes acquired the privately-owned Team Lotus name and used it in the 2011 season. For 2012, Team Lotus changed their name to Caterham F1 Team, clearing the way for the Lotus Renault GP team to be renamed as "Lotus F1 Team".
On 29 November 2011, the team announced that Kimi Räikkönen would race for them in 2012 as he returned from a two-year stint away from Formula One which he spent competing in the World Rally Championship he signed for two years (and a third year option) . On 9 December 2011 the team announced that GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean would race alongside Räikkönen.
Lotus started the season strongly with Grosjean qualifying third in Australia but first lap incidents in Australia and Malaysia ruined his chances of his first Formula One points. In China Räikkönen was running in second until his tyres 'fell off the cliff' pushing him out of the points for the only time of the season. In Bahrain, Lotus achieved their first podium of the season with Räikkönen very close to the winner Vettel and Grosjean behind in third.
At the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix, Grosjean was involved in a multiple car pileup at the start of the race, resulting in Grosjean, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Pérez all being eliminated from the race and Kamui Kobayashi missing out on a possible podium after starting from the front row for the first time of his career. The incident was started when Grosjean collided with Hamilton on the approach to the La Source corner. After the race, Grosjean was issued with a one race ban covering the next Round at Monza. He was replaced for the race weekend by Lotus reserve driver Jérôme d'Ambrosio.
After a near win in Bahrain, Räikkönen took the team's first victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It was also his first race win after returning to Formula One. After finishing in the points in 19 of the 20 races, and achieving 7 podiums (including the win in Abu Dhabi) Räikkönen finished 3rd in the Drivers' Championship with Lotus 4th in the Constructors' Championship.
On 29 October 2012, Lotus F1 team confirmed that Räikkönen would be racing with the team in 2013. The news came after several weeks of speculation that Räikkönen had several other options for 2013 including other forms of motorsport. Romain Grosjean partnered him again for the season.
At the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, Lotus achieved a first place finish for Räikkönen despite qualifying in 7th place, thus giving Lotus F1 the leading driver in the Drivers' Championship and second place in the Constructors' Championship. On 30 June 2013 at the British Grand Prix, Räikkönen finished in the points for the 25th consecutive race, breaking Michael Schumacher's record.
At the Italian Grand Prix Räikkönen had a heated radio exchange with Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane. The radio conversation was widely noted in the press, raising questions about the health of his relationship with the team. In the following Abu Dhabi Grand Prix questions about Räikkönen's relationship with his team were further fueled by his absence from the usual Thursday media events. On Friday, Räikkönen then publicly threatened that he would not continue to race with Lotus in the remaining two Grands Prix of the season after Abu Dhabi unless a salary dispute was resolved. Following the race, it was announced that Lotus and Räikkönen had reached a provisional agreement on the salary dispute that would see Räikkönen race for the team during the remainder of the season
However a week before the following United States Grand Prix, it was announced that Räikkönen would miss the rest of the season, having elected to have back surgery for the problems that had troubled him in the Singapore Grand Prix. For the remaining two Grands Prix, Räikkönen would be replaced at Lotus by fellow Finn Heikki Kovalainen.
Overall E21 proved to be a good car helping Räikkönen and Grosjean achieve a total of 11 podiums between them and a strong fourth place finish for Lotus in the Constructors' Championship.
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2012||E20||Renault RS27-2012 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||EUR||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||KOR||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||303||4th|
|2013||E21||Renault RS27-2013 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||KOR||JPN||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||315||4th|