It is believed that Lotus and Mercedes have an agreement in place that will see Lotus run with Mercedes power from 2015 and this is on the back of an abysmal start to the 2014 for both Lotus and Re
It is believed that Lotus and Mercedes have an agreement in place that will see Lotus run with Mercedes power from 2015 and this is on the back of an abysmal start to the 2014 for both Lotus and Renault.
With the Lotus seeming to break at any chance it gets, and a power unit that is lagging behind the ever dominant Mercedes, this season has been somewhat of a nightmare for the team based in Enstone.
A hop, race and a jump
The move comes after McLaren last year announced that they would be making the jump to Honda in 2016 in an attempt to relive their dominate partnership that ruled F1 in the late eighties and earlier nineties.
With Mercedes looking for a team to replace McLaren Lotus came calling, due to the ever souring relationship between Lotus and Renault who were once the team that led Fernando Alonso to his two world championships.
Although last year Lotus had a great season on the track, off the track it was one horror story after another. The team was hit by financial issues all season which eventually led to Kimi Raikkonen’s exit after he revealed that he had not been paid all season.
With the team in dire need of money Lotus were on the lookout for investors. An agreement looked to be in place but the Quantum group pulled the plug and in the process blocked Nico Hulkenberg replacing Raikkonen. This led to Lotus signing Pastor Maldonado and his millions of dollars.
Yes the once Renault works team have had a dismal campaign and currently occupy eighth place with eight points to their name and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the best position either driver has managed is again eighth. To add insult to injury Maldonado is yet to even score a point.
With the switch to Mercedes power what does this mean heading into 2015? If this season is anything to go by in terms of the relative performance difference between Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, Lotus should enjoy a much more successful season next time around.
The search for success
Reliability and the lack of grunt from the power unit aside Lotus do have a good chassis as we saw in Barcelona which is a track that will expose any weak areas of the car.
Although a switch to Mercedes will almost certainly put Lotus in a much better position to challenge the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull for podiums, something Lotus haven’t achieved since Romain Grosjean’s second place finish in Austin on the back end of 2013.
Whilst Lotus look to have the engine in place they also need the leadership, something they seemed to have lacked this season since the departure of Eric Boullier to McLaren. McLaren have stolen one Lotus asset and could be looking for another.
Whilst Boullier moved on to Woking he still stands as Grosjean’s driver manager and could help force a move for his French counterpart as speculation regarding the future of Jenson Button refuses to go away.
If Lotus are able to maintain the services of Grosjean and capitalise on the Mercedes engine deal they could be a force to be reckoned with come next season.
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