Cosworth confirms Lotus split as 2011 Renault engine deal rumours intensify

Posted on

Written by

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Monza, 2010

Cosworth has announced it will not supply engines to Lotus in 2011.

The engine supplier released a statement saying:

Cosworth has reached an agreement in principle with Lotus Racing whereby the team?s Cosworth engine supply agreement will come to a conclusion at the end of the current Formula One season. This agreement is subject to contract and until the agreement is signed, neither party will be making any further comment.

Lotus are believed to be chasing a Renault engine supply for 2011.

Team principal Tony Fernandes expressed frustration at suffering another gearbox failure during today’s Italian Grand Prix. This is believed to be the key motivating factor behind the change of engine which will also come with a supply of gearboxes.

But he was keen to stress his satisfaction with Cosworth’s engines when he posted the following on Twitter today:

Jarno has some gear issues. Boy I hate this gearbox. […] It’s such a shame on gearbox and back of engine. Cosworth is a good engine. […] Jarno retired gearbox. Oh well. Making decisions easier.

Image ?? Lotus F1

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

67 comments on “Cosworth confirms Lotus split as 2011 Renault engine deal rumours intensify”

  1. Christian Horner wanted to let you know this means Lotus will be seriously disadvantaged all year!

    1. Oh, that Renault engine is a nightmare, let Horner tell you. Look at how much slower it was than Button’s McLaren through the speed traps today. And it’s not like it’ll stand up to exhaust-burning trickery so you can play around with your diffuser setup either, unlike the engine in the Mercedes.

      Damn those Renault engines costing Red Bull their topline speed. Damn them all to hell.

    2. Comment of the day

    3. Lotus doesn’t have the same objectives as Red Bull. RB wants to be crowned World Champions while Lotus is fighting right now against the other new teams. So I think it’s a good decision.
      By the time Lotus becomes a top team (which I hope for them) or at least a middle team, we’ll be past 2013 and everyone will have new engines, so the Renault one won’t be slower than the Mercedes anymore.

      1. It’s true that the Renault engine is short on power but one of the key thing about the engine is that it have high torque which is helping Red Bull to shoot them out of the corners, a car which is good on corners.

        1. I understood from an earlier article i read, that Lotus was actually searching for a good and reliable gearbox and drivertrain solution.

          Renault was willing to deliver but also pushing to make it a comlete drivetraing solution with engine (and possibly KERS) included.

          1. what the Renault lacks in HP it makes up in Nm. and it’s Nm that will win them the title this year, if they loose it it will be because RBR drivers made mistakes, not because the Renault engine is not up for it…

          2. @ Ronman
            Totally agree with you.

  2. Wonder if any of the other Cosworth teams have asked Williams for a gearbox deal?

    Makes sense for smaller teams to pair up with larger ones for drive trains as Sauber and Force India do – especially with KERS returning next year.

    1. I think that would be a good idea, considering Williams has a bit of experience behind and year in year out, their reliability is consistently pretty good.

    2. I wondered the same myself.

    3. It would make sense, but it is hard to know what the response from Williams will be considering his stance on what constructors are.

      1. During the BBC coverage of free practice at the Canadian GP Patrick Head said as an engineering company they would be open to discussions over providing hydraulics (as the discussion was about the new teams hydraulic failures) but that they hadn’t been approached.

        Possibly the same would apply to gearboxes.

  3. If I were Lotus, I would get my engines from Ford.

    1. Err… I doubt 2004 spec V10’s are really the way to go these days!

      1. Charles Carroll
        13th September 2010, 1:26

        I was thinking engines taken from old Escorts.

        The ‘scort was the finest auto of its day.

        1. The Model T was the finest auto in its day also, but I can’t see that sort of technology being intergrated into F1 anytime soon.

          1. Charles Carroll
            13th September 2010, 3:16

            But the ‘scort engine can be ready anytime. Plenty of those in the junk yards here.

          2. So you’re saying take engines from a Ford Escort, or ‘scort as you put it, that are currently in junkyards and put them in F1 cars?

          3. Yeah, and they’d lap a couple of tenths faster than an HRT.

          4. Isn’t that whats running in NASCAR currently?

        2. In the “old” turbo era the BMW engines were based on blocks taken from old scrap BMW cars, because they had been through (say) 100,000 miles of use and were therefore proven to be rock-solid.

          True (if random) fact. :D

    2. Great idea! They should run an engine from a ’92 Ford Taurus, and maybe its suspension and aero package as well.

  4. Team Lotus Renault…

    not bad… not bad at all..

    Sad Williams is keeping the Cosworth engine (i think i read somewhere about it), because Williams-Renault would also be nice!

    1. It was nice in the 90’s :P

      1. if Fiat revived the 500, VW the Beetle and BMW the Mini, why not Williams :P?

    2. williams are growing not only as a team but also as a company, this 100% british partnership will be beneficial for both williams and cosworth, and im sure cosworth arent worried about lotus clearly lotus shouldnt have picked toyotas ashes for their staff cause as we all know toyota was a catastrophe

      1. Not that we’ll ever know, but from the sound of it, this year’s Toyota would have been a very competitive car. Hardly a catastrophe.

        1. But the engine still worse for fuel efficiency, power and lower drivability than the top engines.

          1. But that seems to be partly due to them having missed some tricks when the engine-homologation came through, so it might not reflect on their engineering skills, just on their timing and management, which we already knew to have some problems.

        2. Don’t think TF110 wouldve been a good car. I’ve been hearing that Toyota is preparing a top car for pretty much every winter since they got into the sport. And they never delivered. TF109 was supposed to be a second-third car after brawn, WITH a double diffuser installed at the start of the season. All they really got was a couple of podiums. The most Toyota Tf110 wouldve been able to achieve this year, if history books are anything to go by, wouldve been to fight with renaults and merc’s. So yeah, MigueLP is right – Toyota was a catastrophe

    3. The perceived wisdom is that Williams didn’t chase a Renault deal as they are courting VW. Lets hope that’s right as even though they have made a huge leap forward this year they are beginning to reach the limit with the Cosworth I think.

      1. Is VW as ‘Volkswagen’ or VW as ‘Porsche’? Just wondering since they are testing the Williams KERS thingy in 911s at the moment….

        1. I would have thought VW as in Audi if anything.

    4. The Cosworth engine might not be the best engine at the moment, but if you take into consideration how long they’ve been out, I think they have done quite a good job.
      Their Performance at Monza was quite respectable.

      1. To be honest, from what the drivers have said about it, I don’t think the cosworth engine is drastically different from the renault engine, Barichello was saying that its more drivable than the mercedes engine without being significantly down on power. We don’t really know if its down further than the renault but at half the price I can see why Williams are using it.

  5. Also hear Tony Fernandes is buying the ‘Team Lotus’ name too. When will someone tell them they are not really Lotus.

    Next they’ll make Trulli legally change his name to Ayrton Senna.


    1. “Embarrassing.”
      How so?
      They have received a lot of criticism that they aren’t the “real” Lotus, So this is how they are combating it.

      To be honest I think the whole issue is a bit daft, I could equally say Ferrari isn’t the “Real” Ferrari, just on the basis that the guys who built the cars in the 70’s aren’t still at Ferrari either!

    2. “Next they’ll make Trulli legally change his name to Ayrton Senna.”

      Classic comedy this evening!

    3. ahahahahahahaha

    4. They’ve been given the Chapman seal of approval, and thats good enough for me!

    5. When Fernandes wanted to start the Lotus back up he had the support of the Chapmans, the support of Lotus cars, the only thing he didn’t have was the Team Lotus name – sold to (I think) James Hunt in the 90’s. So if it’s the name that’s making you so whingy, then your on the side of a minor legal issue.

      More importantly though, Lotus are clearly back from the 90’s, sure I was skeptical at first and I’m not especially fond that the team is Malaysian. However, Fernandes has assembled a great team, a great car, with great drivers and in my opinion, I reckon Colin Chapman would be proud of the new team. Besides, look at that colour scheme!

      We’ll see just how embarrassed they are when Lotus win the Constructors championship for the 8th time!

  6. I guess it’s no real surprise that sooner or later one of the “new” teams was going to try to jump from the Cosworth ship and land a deal with one of the major players in the field, and Lotus being top of that small hill is the obvious one.

    I do wonder though with the changes to the engine rules coming in 2013 if we’ll see any other engine suppliers dip the toe into the F1 waters.

    1. The main problem is not with the engine, but the package of X-track gearbox that comes with it according to Mosleys wishes.

  7. Younger Hamilton
    13th September 2010, 0:45

    Lol this article is definetely Article of the day Keith!!! Lots of humour and funny comments

  8. This has been a long time coming, and probably confirms Heikki for a while too, since he was a Renault development driver coming up.

    I wonder how much longer Trulli will want to stay in a team where he’s the senior driver, at the back of the field, and isn’t matching Heikki’s pace.

    1. What? Trulli has been quicker on qually what makes you believe that heikki is better than trulli its a reliability issue not skill

    2. Lotus is buying engines from Renault and not Renault investing in the team. So I doubt it has anything to do with the drivers. If it had any relation to drivers then it might even mean Petrov moving over to Renault.

      1. You mean Petrov moving over to Lotus??

  9. I don’t see why this team gets so much grief in regards to being Lotus.

    Good on Tony Fernandes I say. Hes done very well for himself in life and yet he still seems to be a genuine bloke. Put yourself in his shoes – you grow up as a F1 fan and then through your success in the business world you not only have the chance to start up an F1 team, but also revive a team which you were fanatical about as a youngster. If Williams was to go broke tomorrow and 20 years down the track we were offered the chance of starting the team name up again I doubt many people would turn down that chance. Heck, before the start of the 2009 season Ross Brawn was stuck between naming his team Brawn or Tyrell.

    Him as a personality in the sport will only get greater as time progresses and he has to right personality. His tweets from the pitwall are something the which is awesome for the fans and is something different.

    I was a bit hesitant about the whole situation when it started but after getting an understanding for the team and how they go about their things I wish them the best of luck.

  10. If none of the other teams change suppliers for next year, this will mean all engine manufacturers supplying exactly three teams (including their own in the cases of Ferrari, Renault, and Mercedes).

    I was a little annoyed at a Malaysian team calling themselves Lotus initially, but they are actually UK based, and they seem to have the same passion as the original Team Lotus. If they can be competitive in another two years time I say they’ll have earned the right to be the new Team Lotus. Good luck to them.

    1. It really looks like Fernandez is doing a lot to get that team lotus feel into it.

      Nice job, with Chapman’s family support and even working on buying the “team lotus” rights and the original HQ.

      1. I heard that the Lotus UK base is only temporary as when they can, they want to move all their operations out to Malaysia.
        It is very important that Lotus maintain that British link.

        1. Lotus should maintain their HQ in British.
          as a malaysian, I don’t see the need for Lotus to move out from UK as the heart of F1 is in Europe.

          It will be a huge mistake if lotus decides to move their HQ from UK to Sepang.

          1. They could out-source part of their production to Malaysia to cut costs.

            Even if F1 operations dont move out of UK, I am sure a Lotus Technology Centre will be opened in Malaysia next year to keep the Malay investors happy.

          2. They could out-source part of their production to Malaysia to cut costs.

            Even if F1 operations dont move out of UK, I am sure a Lotus Technology Centre will be opened in Malaysia next year to keep the Malay investors happy.

            Cant wait for some of the announcements set for Sigapore GP in 2 weeks time

          3. Agreed, teams located outside the UK tend to… Not exist for long.

  11. Lotus is keeping a lot of promises for next season among all the new teams so a new engine deal will be a good one for them I hope.

  12. Williams are openly chasing a manufacturer deal, but i thought his public support for Ferrari in the team orders dispute may have been loaded to keep Ferrari sweet ref new engine supplier??

    1. Williams would probably rather sell up than take Ferrari engines. He kept saying how “weird” it was to take their side. He was doing it for his sporting principles rather than trying to nab a sweet deal.
      Ferrari traditionally don’t like supplying teams that could match or beat their team. Williams may be poor at the moment but they have the capacity to change that around. I hope I’m right anyway or I’ll look a fool now! :p

      1. How many engines do Mclaren,Trdbull and Ferrari have used so far?

        1. I have no idea. I guess Ferrari have gone through them all now. Go to click 2010 season and engine stats and even gearbox stats are on there for every driver.

  13. i think the cosworth engines are good all rounders but the renault engines are defonatley more reliable and have more torque

  14. The Cosworth engine gets a lot of negative reaction from people because they have been out of F1 for a few years. But the Williams team in particular shows that Cosworth have got it right and that their V8 is as good as any engine out there.

    I hope Cosworth continue and improve and show the manufacturers that an independent engine supplier can win.

    It’s the Lotus itself that is the problem, not the engine.

    1. Well yeah, but they are saying that they’re changing because Renualt have said they’ll provide them with a gearbox as well, and their issue is the current gearbox.

      1. Thats the reason Trulli retired at monza. Williams use a different gearbox to Lotus thats why they have had better reliability (amoung other reason all of the new teams seem to have problems with their hydralics especially at the start of the season.)

        I look forward to next season as a Lotus and I agree with their decision to start developing their 2011 car early, they just need to make sure that they can maintain 10th place for financial reasons.

  15. Great Team Lotus , Malaysian owners , Renault engine , Foreign drivers , please tell me what Team Lotus is all about ?

Comments are closed.