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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Monday, 13 September 2010 08:32 UK

Lotus agree Renault engine switch for 2011 F1 season

By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at Monza

Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus
Lotus have yet to earn a point in 2010

Lotus are to switch to Renault engines for the 2011 Formula 1 season after agreeing to end their contract with Cosworth, BBC Sport understands.

The team, new to F1 this year, were happy with the Cosworth engine but have been frustrated by problems with its associated gearbox and transmission.

Team principal Tony Fernandes told BBC Sport: "We have to do something different and it will be done soon.

"There's nothing wrong with the engine but we've had some issues."

Fernandes, who was talking on the BBC F1 Forum, refused to confirm that the team's new engine would be a Renault.

"Lots of negotiations have gone on over the last couple of weeks and we're very happy with the outcome," he said.

"We want to move up the grid and we want to be up there with the Red Bulls and Ferraris in years to come - we're not going to do that overnight but we've got to make those constant steps forwards."


Lotus have been the most successful of the three new teams this season, which also include Virgin and Hispania, but have been unable to bridge the gap to even the slowest of the established teams.

A statement from Cosworth said: "Cosworth has reached an agreement in principle with Lotus Racing whereby the team's Cosworth engine supply agreement will come to a conclusion at the end of the current Formula 1 season.

"This agreement is subject to contract and until the agreement is signed, neither party will be making any further comment."

Trulli frustrated by Lotus reliability

The move was announced late on Sunday night, after it emerged that Lotus would race under their historic name Team Lotus next year.

Italian Jarno Trulli will remain as one of the team's drivers but there is uncertainty about the second seat.

Finn Heikki Kovalainen could well stay on, but Fernandes refused to confirm that on Sunday.

He said: "Heikki's the kind of person we love at Lotus - tons of energy, he's always positive and hope that we have a long, long career together, and that we can deliver to him the type of package that can really get him where he should be."

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see also
Alonso beats Button to Monza win
12 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus revive original team name
12 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus want podiums in two years
02 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus prioritise long term plan
26 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus set for Renault engine deal
12 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus keen to upset establishment
14 Jun 10 |  Formula 1

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