Infinity: We will make Lotus ‘number one’ in 12 months

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Formula One is no stranger to bold claims or brave gestures, but Lotus’ new backers Infinity Racing have been particularly brash with their claim that they can make the black-and-gold team ‘number one’ within the next year.

Led by Mansoor Ijaz, the consortium has taken a 35% share in the team from majority owners Genii Capital, but Ijaz is confident that Infinity’s input can turn Lotus into championship material.

“If Lotus was, on a scale -10 to +10, at -8 because of the problems it had before Genii Capital came in and now it’s +5, 6 or even 7, what we’re doing is topping it off to make sure they get to the championship,” Ijaz is quoted as telling Sports Pro Media. “That has two key elements: technology and sponsorship revenue and that’s basically what we’re bringing to the table.”

“We’ll be number one in twelve months. I say it simply, flatly, completely – we’ll be number one in twelve months.”

The last Enstone-based team to win a world championship was Renault, who claimed both championships in 2005 and 2006 with the pairing of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella. The team has seen an improvement in form in the past two seasons after the arrival of Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 3rd in last year’s drivers’ championship, but quite whether Infinity’s input will allow the team to rival Red Bull remains to be seen.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”