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Lotus appoints Renault chief

2011-11-09 09:53

ANOTHER NAME CHANGE?: Team Lotus, then Lotus racing, will change its name to Caterham for the 2012 F1 season..

Team Lotus has appointed Steve Nielsen as its sporting director following his departure from rival Renault.

Lotus says Nielsen, who has been at Benetton and then Renault as sporting manager since 2000, would join in December 2011 to replace the departing Dieter Gass.

Owner Tony Fernandes said in a statement that team manager Graham Watson had also signed a new contract.

"It is a good mark of our team that we can attract people of Steve's calibre," he said.


"I am thrilled that someone who is so well respected, and is coming from a team that is ahead of us in so many ways, shares our belief in our ability to grow and in due course challenge the midfield."

Renault-powered Team Lotus, who has yet to score a point since its debut in 2010 as Lotus Racing, is changing its name to Caterham next season.

In a separate announcement, French carmaker Renault said Jean-Michel Jalinier would take over as president of its F1 division from January 1, 2012, in place of Bernard Rey.

Renault will provide four teams with engines next year, having ceased to be a constructor with its former team becoming Lotus.

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