Lotus F1 Team Logo


Lotus F1


  • Lotus F1 Team Official Name
  • Enstone, United Kingdom Base
  • 2012 F1 Debut
  • Gérard Lopez Team Boss
  • James Allison/Nick Chester Technical Chief
  • 0 World Championships

The Lotus F1 Team was a British Formula One outfit, competing on the grid from 2012 to 2015, initially emerging from the former Renault team. Owned primarily by Genii Capital and affiliated with Group Lotus for branding, the team notched up a race win and secured fourth in the Constructors’ Championship in its debut season. During its time on the grid, it celebrated two wins, both by driver Kimi Räikkönen. In December 2015, Renault reacquired the team, leading to the end of the Lotus F1 Team name in February 2016.

Notable Team Members and Drivers

Kimi Räikkönen: Making his return to F1 with Lotus in 2012, Raikkonen achieved multiple podiums and victories.

Romain Grosjean: A mainstay with Lotus during this period, Grosjean contributed significantly to the team’s points tally.

Gérard Lopez: As team principal, Lopez guided the team through its time on the grid, seeing glimpses of competitive performance levels.

The team can trace its lineage to the Toleman Motorsport team of 1981 based in Witney, Oxfordshire, which evolved into Benetton in 1986 after being acquired by the Benetton family. While still under the Benetton banner, the move to Enstone marked a new chapter in 1992 and 1993, where Michael Schumacher clinched his first two Drivers’ Championships in 1994 and 1995, while the team also secured the 1995 Constructors’ Championship, with Johnny Herbert driving alongside Schumacher.

In 2000, Renault acquired the Benetton team, renaming it Renault F1 Team by 2002. Fernando Alonso secured the Drivers’ Championship in 2005 and 2006, alongside winning the Constructors’ Championship for the team with Giancarlo Fisichella. After selling a majority stake to Genii Capital in 2009, the team partnered with Lotus Cars in 2011, leading to a rebrand as Lotus Renault GP and, subsequently, Lotus F1 Team.

In November 2011, the team announced Kimi Räikkönen would return to Formula One for the 2012 season after a two-year hiatus, during which he competed in the World Rally Championship. Räikkönen signed a two-year contract with an option for a third. A month later, Romain Grosjean, the former GP2 champion and Renault F1 driver from 2009 was confirmed to race alongside Räikkönen.

In October 2012, the Lotus F1 Team announced Kimi Räikkönen’s continuation for the 2013 season amidst widespread speculation about his future, including potential moves to other motorsports. Romain Grosjean was confirmed as his teammate once again. That season, the team introduced the E21 car featuring a revised livery of black, gold, and more pronounced red accents on the sidepods, air intake, rear wing, and front wing.

Ahead of the 2014 season, the Lotus F1 Team experienced significant changes in management and ownership. Andrew Ruhan, previously co-chairman, converted loans into equity for control from Genii Capital, which also sold a stake to Yotaphone. With the departure of the CEO and team principal Eric Boullier to McLaren, Matthew Carter stepped in as CEO but without prior F1 experience; Gérard Lopez was named team principal, and Federico Gastaldi as deputy team principal. Romain Grosjean remained, joined by Pastor Maldonado with PDVSA sponsorship, leading to an eighth-place Constructors’ Championship finish.

In 2014, Lotus announced a switch to Mercedes engines for the 2015 season, marking the end of a 20-year relationship with Renault. The team retained drivers Grosjean and Maldonado while bringing on Jolyon Palmer and Carmen Jordá as test and development drivers, respectively.

At the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix, on September 27th, Lotus faced access issues to their hospitality suite due to unsettled invoices with the Japanese race organisers from the preceding year. Despite issues in the paddock, the team achieved their first double top-eight finish at the race, securing seventh and eighth place, their first double since the 2013 Indian Grand Prix.

Only days later, on September 30th, it was revealed that Renault intended to acquire a majority share in Lotus F1 from Genii Capital, following Renault’s financial rescue to address Lotus’s arrears in income tax and insurance contributions to the UK Government.

Lotus F1 Legacy

On December 21, 2015, it was announced that Groupe Renault had finally acquired the Enstone-based Lotus F1 Team, intending to compete in the 2016 season as Renault’s official factory team. Jérôme Stoll was named chairman, and Cyril Abiteboul took on the role of managing director.

Five seasons after acquiring the Lotus team, Renault did not secure any wins and transitioned to the Alpine brand in 2021, with Renault continuing as the engine supplier.

Team Lotus in F1

Team Lotus, affiliated with Lotus Cars, made its mark in Formula One from 1958 to 1994, securing seven constructors’ and six drivers’ titles between 1963 and 1978. The Lotus brand reemerged in F1 in 2010 with Tony Fernandes’s Lotus Racing under a licensing agreement with Group Lotus. After the license was revoked in 2011, Fernandes adopted the Team Lotus moniker. By 2012, this entity was rebranded as Caterham F1 Team, facilitating the transformation of Lotus Renault GP into the Lotus F1 Team.

Lotus F1 Formula One World Championship Records

First entry2012 Australian Grand Prix
Races entered77
Constructors’ Championships0 (best finish: 4th, 2012 & 2013)
Drivers’ Championships0
Race victories2
Pole positions0
Fastest laps5
Final entry2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lotus F1 Constructors’ Championship Results

2012Lotus F1E20Kimi Räikkönen
Romain Grosjean
Jérôme d’Ambrosio
2013Lotus F1E21Kimi Räikkönen
Heikki Kovalainen
Romain Grosjean
2014Lotus F1E22Romain Grosjean
Pastor Maldonado
2015Lotus F1E23 HybridRomain Grosjean
Pastor Maldonado

Lotus F1 Drivers

Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
Finnish Alfa Romeo 2001 Australian Grand Prix F1 Legend
French Haas 2009 European Grand Prix Retired

Previous/Next Team Names

Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Benetton British, Italian 1986 Historic
Renault French 1977 Historic
Alpine French 2021 Current