Lotus reveals E22 in an unconventional manner

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Friday likely will go down in history as an odd day in the state of the Lotus F1 Team.

Earlier this morning, team principal Eric Boullier has left his position, with co-chairman Gerard Lopez taking over the role with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, the team revealed its new E22 via a Twitter post, rather than a conventional manner of an online launch or taking the wraps off at Jerez next week. Lotus, of course, is the only team to confirm it will miss the first test of the new year.

The key technical feature of note at first glance is the “double anteater” nose, which is similar to a structure employed by the second iteration of the Audi R15+ TDI LMP1 prototype.

Otherwise, with limited details revealed on the car’s technical format or quotes from any team officials, it seems something could be out of sync.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will drive the E22 when it debuts; the team’s reserve driver is yet to be revealed. Lotus 2013 reserve driver Davide Valsecchi said he, like Kimi Raikkonen before him, had not been paid, and will likely explore other options.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”