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Lotus named 13th team for 2010 F1 season

FORMULA One's governing body today named Lotus as the 13th team for the 2010 championship.

The FIA said it had also received an impressive application from the BMW Sauber team, but that since BMW had announced it would withdraw support in 2010, there remained uncertainties regarding the future ownership of the team.

BMW Sauber was awarded "14th place" in the championship, meaning it will be entitled to fill any vacancy arising on the 2010 grid, a statement said.

The new outfit will be called Lotus F1 Team and is a partnership between the Malaysian government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs.

Team principal will be leading Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes. The 45-year-old set up Asian budget airline Air Asia and, with a net worth of US$220 million, is Malaysia's 15th richest man, according to Forbes Malaysia 2009 rich list.

Technical director Mike Gascoyne has more than 20 years of experience in Formula One having previously performed the same role for the Force India, Toyota, Renault and Jordan Formula One teams.

As part of its application to compete in the 2010 championship, the Lotus team agreed an engine supply deal with Cosworth.

The team will initially be based in Norfolk, some 10 miles from the Lotus Cars factory in Eastern England.

The team's future design, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, the FIA statement said.


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