Lotus pays homage to El Greco with Spanish GP livery

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Lotus is set to pay homage to legendary Spanish painter El Greco with a design on its livery for the race in Barcelona next weekend, which will promote an exhibition taking place to mark 400 years since his death.

El Greco was a leading figure and thinker in the Spanish renaissance, and spent the majority of his life living in Toledo. His work has stood the test of time, and Ernest Hemingway even enjoyed visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York to view his painting “Vista de Toledo.”

In order to promote the series of events that will take place this year to celebrate his life and work, Lotus will run with a special logo on the side of its car.

“This is the first time a Formula 1 team has publicised a Spanish cultural event so prominently,” team owner and team principal Gerard Lopez commented.

“We will promote the El Greco exhibition for no commercial fee to a global TV audience of over 600 million people. Through this the legend of El Greco will be displayed in support of Spanish Culture and cultural tourism in Spain.”

Here’s what the car is set to look like for the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend:

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.