Lotus may have lost Eric Boullier, but hasn’t lost its touch for Twitter zingers

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Yesterday was a strange day in Enstone, as Lotus revealed the first images of their new E22 machine for the 2014 Formula One season but also announced the exodus of former team principal Eric Boullier.

Multiple reports now have the Frenchman as the man in line for the same role at McLaren, where he would replace Martin Whitmarsh as part of expected changes to the team from new/old CEO Ron Dennis.

Boullier’s departure didn’t seem to sit too well with Lotus, who tweeted the E22 photo around the same time yesterday as the start of McLaren’s online launch for the MP4-29.

Then, they proceeded to apparently drop a hint about Boullier’s potential next job. And seeing that this is Lotus we’re talking about, they weren’t very subtle about it:

Hmm, which current Formula One team has shown to have a particular fondness for grey on their cars? Note: You don’t get a prize if you know which one.

Say what you want about Lotus and their social media tactics. But you can’t argue that Formula One is a lot less dull with them around.

Verizon confirms IndyCar title sponsor role exit after 2018

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As perhaps expected, Verizon has confirmed Friday it will end its role as Verizon IndyCar Series title sponsor following the end of its fifth year in 2018.

Reports surfaced shortly after this year’s IndyCar season finale at Sonoma Raceway that Verizon was re-evaluating its role within the series.

Indeed, as it was before becoming title sponsor in 2014, Verizon will remain a partner with Team Penske despite not also carrying the series title sponsor role.

In a statement, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles thanked Verizon for its support in this overall series role.

“Verizon has been a super sponsor and will continue to be so through all of next season. We appreciate that they reached their decision in a timely way so that we can thoughtfully and deliberately go back into the market for 2019,” Miles said in a statement, via Sports Business Journal.

Roger Penske also issued a statement, also via SBJ, saying, “We want to thank Verizon for the support they have provided the IndyCar Series and the role they have played as they helped us grow the sport as the title sponsor for the past five years. Verizon has helped the series reach new fans through their world-class activation and technology, including the Verizon IndyCar Mobile App. While they will no longer be the Series Title Sponsor after 2018, it is exciting they will still be in the sport through their relationship with our organization.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series has built a wave of momentum over the last few years with its competition level, parity and enthusiasm for some revived events, with Gateway Motorsports Park and Road America standing out as highlights being brought back after an extended hiatus.

The good news for INDYCAR (sanctioning body) is that there’s a new Dallara universal aero kit that’s been busy with testing the last few months and is now in the hands of manufacturers for manufacturer testing, and the series announced long-term extensions with Dallara, Chevrolet, Honda and Firestone earlier this year. New series champion Josef Newgarden has also been busy in a number of media events and appearances since the Sonoma season finale.

With this confirmation, INDYCAR has a new entitlement sponsor to find and a new TV contract to sort, with both existing contracts up after 2018.