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I sure don't see it happening, it is a huge undertaking to get into F1 now, the last start-up team was Toyota and they are rumored to be spending $400MM per year! Without funding from a major manufacturer I just can't see it. The true independents are back markers with no chance to do well, even Jordan is in trouble now.
 

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and news is that the good mr button is gong to be a bmw williams man next year. sorry bar. as he says one must look out for number one.

someday i'll post a couple of the pix i shot at this year's F1 race at indy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
that is the photo i was looking for to use in this thread! thanks for posting it.

it is the photo that almost had me settled on a black elise (since i do not think the green is the "traditional" green)
 

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I would rather they invested their time into increasing production/lowering costs, and adding more factory otpions such as a superchargrer, or different wheel options. Besides, open wheel racing while I find it exciting, looses Tv ratings every year. I think IRL was down 4% this year. I would love to see the Elise racing somewhere though, maybe the AMLS series with factory support.
 

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Besides the cost of getting back into F1 the field is saturated. Isn't there a 22 car max? So if any new team enters the field somebody has to leave or have bottom two not qualify to run (i.e. bye bye Minardy) :D
 

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zvezdah1 said:
Team Lotus actually did separate completely from Lotus cars I believe late 60s or early 70s. I believe the Chapman estate owns the rights to Team Lotus name.

Chris
Yup, that's as I understand it.

Lotus racing was based at ketteringham hall, about 5 miles from hethel.

Craigy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
actually i think it was sold. proton was thinking about buying the name or some such thing. prost or someone was the most recent owner. but i am too lazy to try to find where i'd read that. there is a great book on lotus F1 that may well hold the answer...but i do not have it
 

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babak said:
Besides the cost of getting back into F1 the field is saturated. Isn't there a 22 car max?
Actually, I think there is a 26-car maximum, and there are only 20 cars currently (which is also the minimum, IIRC).

I keep hoping another team will join the sport, but so far, it's all been just idle rumors (remember the 'Phoenix' team from a couple of years ago?). I'd like to see some of the classic teams of yesteryear throw their hat back in the ring (such as Lotus), but for all the reasons listed above, it does look a little unlikely.

Jim
 

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babak said:
Besides the cost of getting back into F1 the field is saturated. Isn't there a 22 car max?
I know they've 26 or more car fields in the past, but they change the rules so often I wouldn't be surprised if there were a limit now.

IMO Lotus has no business in the ultrahigh cost world of F1. I think it'd be wise for them to sponsor a few Exige's at Le Mans.

Paul
 

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I agree it would not make sense for Lotus to play in F1. Too expensive for the return on investment. How many more cars would they sell if they had an F1 entry?

I do hope that Lotus becomes more involved in motorsports and wisely chooses where they can get the most bang for the buck. At the grassroots level where they can get exposure. I know we heard a while ago that Lotus was interesting in supporting SCCA road racing. I don't know what that means in terms of benefit to the racer.

I would really like to see Lotus consider the involvement of companies like Mazda Motorsports, Toyota Motorsports, Subaru, Honda, and Dodge. Small investments for a nice return.

1. Reduced prices on replacement or upgrade factory parts. Toyota offers me parts at wholesale price. Very little cost to Lotus but it helps the grassroots racers.

2. Contingency money for class winners in SCCA ProSolo and Solo2 and National Run Offs. A minor bone, but it's nice. Toyota used to pay something like $1000 for a win in ProSolo, but now pay something like $250. Not a great amount of money, but it's a nice thing if you win in their vehicle.

3. Support of any kind. TRD brought a semi transporter to Nationals last year and trailered Toyota cars. Working with national SCCA drivers to see what might need to be tweaked to work with Hoosiers for example. Offering factory documentation for options like the LSD. Any support (and we are getting some!) is a good thing.

This is the kind of stuff that costs peanuts compared to a full racing team and can return some smaller rewards, but still offer a very good return on the investment. 60,000 people autocross in the USA. How many will be learning about Lotus? How many will really be exposed to what the car can do? To what Lotus can do?
 

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I believe the F1 grid is not limited to 24 cars. Was full prior to the demise of Prost and Arrow. So there are slots available for 2 teams.

Alas, I don't see Lotus coming back to F1. When I became interested in cars and F1 Lotus ruled the roost with the Type 72. I believe this car was competitive for 4 or 5 seasons and raced in about 6 seasons!!! That will never happen again.

Realistically the only reason Lotus was in F1 was Colin. Unfortunately he is not with us anymore. It makes no sense for Lotus or even Proton to enter F1 for promotional purposes. I just with there were more teams like the old days in it solely for the support.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
well, given that F1 race down there in that island nation proton calls home there was speculation. i am not arguing the sensibility or anything...
 

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There's a bond of something like $50m just to get on the grid. Never mind the fact that some of the smartest compaies in the world, with the most resources (toyota, honda, Mercedes, BMW) are struggling - and they have built up massive armies of technicians to get more performance out of the cars. Toyota have already spent over a billion dollars on their car, which runs in the midfield at most places.

It's so far out of Lotus's (or even Proton's) league it's not funny.

The only major players not in the F1 circus are GM (and they are not well known for being a technology company in these parts - more like an accountancy driven company) - and VAG (Volkswagen/Audi/Skoda/Seat/Lambourghini/Bentley). VAG are therefore the only real players left without a vested interest in F1, and they have gone on record saying it's not work the investment...

Craigy
 

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While GM may not be known as a technology company in Europe. I would dare say that GM holds more automotive patents than any other company. It has only been since the 70's that GM became so accounting focused, with many CEOs/presidents that had been CFO. It is sad as they have engineering capabilities that match or exceed any car company. It's just that they have made many poor management decisions.

I think they (GM) could be competitive in F1 if they decided to. I think thry just don't see the reason to do it. No payback. I think if F! more to a stock block formula you would see a lot more transfer between the track and the street. HEck let them use electronics too. No active steering or braking. But I like active suspension and traction control. I am not keen on paddle shifters, but I think it makes for a good transfer of technology to the steet. It just doesn't make for te best racing. How many passes used to made due to missed shifts? If there was more chance for transfer back to the street , maybe GM would join in.

Greg
 
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