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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:37 UK

Force India designers join Lotus

Mike Gascoyne
Gascoyne has made three appointments from his former team

Lotus have recruited three designers from rivals Force India in a bid to continue their progress in Formula 1.

Mark Smith will take over as the team's technical director, Lewis Butler joins as chief designer and Marianne Hinson will be head of aerodynamics.

Team owner Tony Fernandes said: "I am honoured that these fantastic talents have put their faith in Lotus, and see the very bright future we have."

Lotus have established themselves as the leading new team this season.

Lotus were one of three new teams to enter F1 this season, the others being Virgin and Hispania.

The three new recruits have all worked with Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne at other teams.


Gascoyne said: "I'm exceptionally pleased to welcome Marianne and Lewis to Lotus Racing, and I'm very excited to once again be teaming up with Mark Smith who I have previously worked with at Jordan, Renault and Force India.

"Lewis and I were together at Force India, and Lewis also worked with Mark Smith at Red Bull, and Marianne and I have known each other since 1999 when I gave her her first job in F1 at Jordan, so we all know each other very well."

Meanwhile, Force India have instigated legal action against Lotus, Gascoyne, and the Aerolab windtunnel company for alleged breaches of the team's intellectual property, relating to the design of its current car.

A Force India statement said: "Force India believes that Lotus Racing, via its use of Aerolab and Fondtech facilities and data, has utilised and benefited from the use of Force India F1 Team's intellectual property, including components and tyres exclusively licensed by Bridgestone to the Force India F1 Team, on its wind tunnel model design for the current Lotus T127 chassis without permission from the Force India F1 Team.

"Force India states these are very serious claims and therefore it would not be taking such action if it could not provide supportive evidence."

Lotus responded by stating that the legal action is "principally between Force India and Aerolab/Fondtech.

The statement said: "These proceedings do not allege any wrong doing on the part of Lotus Racing. Aerolab/Fondtech vigorously denies any wrong doing and have provided Lotus Racing with a full indemnity in relation to the claim."

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see also
Red Bull clash hands Hamilton win
30 May 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus Racing to stay in Norfolk
04 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus keen to silence F1 critics
31 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus celebrates 60 years of F1
06 Apr 10 |  History
Lotus thrilled by Formula 1 debut
15 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Force India
14 Nov 10 |  Drivers & Teams

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