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Lotus F1 team keep Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli

Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli
Staying together: Lotus drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli

Lotus Racing are to stick with drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen for 2011 but plan to race with the historic Team Lotus name from next season.

The news came as the entry list for the 2011 championship was announced by motorsport's governing body the FIA.

Force India, Toro Rosso, Hispania and the renamed Marussia Virgin Racing have yet to confirm their driver line-up.

Williams and Renault have an incomplete line-up with only Rubens Barrichello and Robert Kubica named respectively.

Vitaly Petrov's seat with Renault has been the subject of speculation after an inconsistent rookie season and the team are yet to determine the Russian's future.

Williams are still to announce a replacement for German Nico Hulkenberg, who did not have his contract renewed at the end of the season.


Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado has been strongly linked with Williams and ran for them during the end-of-season young driver tests in Abu Dhabi.

Trulli, 36, hinted last week that he expected to renew his contract with Lotus, telling BBC Radio Norfolk he had already begun working on the 2011 car.

The Italian is now preparing for his 15th season in F1 during which time he has raced for six different teams, securing his only grand prix victory in Monaco with Renault in 2004.

Former McLaren and Renault driver Kovalainen, 29, has also re-signed for Lotus. The Finn scored the team's best result of 2010 when he finished 12th in Japan.

Kovalainen's winter preparations were dramatically interrupted after he knocked himself unconscious in a crash during Sunday's Race of Champions event.

The Finn wrote on the social network site Twitter: "I've been put to bed-rest at home as a precaution, heavy concussion, further tests in the next few days as head took a big hit."

Lotus Racing's Heikki Kovalainen

Classic moment of 2010: Kovalainen puts out fires in Singapore

The entry list also confirmed Lotus Racing's reversion to the historic Team Lotus name.

Founder Colin Chapman, who oversaw a series of championship wins between 1963 and 1978, ran his team under the Team Lotus banner and Lotus Racing owner Tony Fernandes is keen to emphasise the links between the two generations of racing teams.

A Lotus Racing spokesperson stated the team's position on that subject had not changed despite an ongoing dispute over the use of the Lotus name.

Malaysian car company Proton, which owns Lotus Cars, is expected to sponsor the Renault team in 2011, a deal that is expected to see the team renamed Lotus Renault.

Lotus technical officer Mike Gascoyne commented on his Twitter page that the team and driver announcements were "great news for the team".

Full 2011 F1 entry list

1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault

2 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault

3 Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Mercedes

4 Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes

5 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari

6 Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari

7 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes

8 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes

9 Robert Kubica (Pol) Renault

10 TBC Renault

11 Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Williams-Cosworth

12 TBC Williams-Cosworth

14 TBC Force India-Mercedes

15 TBC Force India-Mercedes

16 Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber-Ferrari

17 Sergio Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari

18 TBC Toro Rosso-Ferrari

19 TBC Toro Rosso-Ferrari

20 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Lotus-Renault

21 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus-Renault

22 TBC Hispania-Cosworth

23 TBC Hispania-Cosworth

24 TBC Marussia Virgin-Cosworth

25 TBC Marussia Virgin-Cosworth

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see also
Trulli hints at Lotus commitment
24 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus confirm Renault engine deal
05 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus branding blocked by Proton
11 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus to race in black and gold
11 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus revive historic team name
24 Sep 10 |  Formula 1

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