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SBD Global/January 8, 2014/Franchises

Matthew Carter In, Patrick Louis Out As CEO Of Lotus F1 Team

Lotus said it will not be ready for the season-opening test Jan. 28.
Lotus confirmed that Matthew Carter will replace Patrick Louis as CEO, according to PLANET F1. Louis "will continue to work for the team," however, after taking up a new position at Genii Automotive. In his new role, Louis will be supported by minority shareholder Andrew Ruhan, who "acquired a small share of the company" at the start of the '13 season. The management reshuffle "was necessitated" after the Quantum Motorsports investment deal failed to materialize last year, which "also ruined Lotus' chances of recruiting Nico Hulkenberg as Romain Grosjean's partner when Kimi Raikkonen left for Ferrari" (PLANET F1, 1/7). The BBC reported Lotus will "miss the first Formula 1 pre-season test at Jerez in Spain." Technical Dir Nick Chester said attending the four-day test, which starts on Jan. 28, "isn't ideal for our build and development program." He said the car "would run for the first time in the second test," at Bahrain on Feb. 19-22. The decision "gives Lotus more time to develop the car," but means "they miss out on crucial mileage as F1 implements its biggest rule changes in decades" (BBC, 1/6).

NOT READY FOR TEST: The AFP reported Chester said that Lotus "simply wouldn't yet be ready in time for the opening test." Chester: "We're going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams." The '14 season "sees the introduction a raft of new technical regulations that are set to shake up the sport's pecking order." Headlining the new rules "is the adoption of a turbocharged V6 engine" (AFP, 1/7).

ONLINE LAUNCH: McLaren will unveil its '14 F1 car, the Mercedes MP4-29, in a digital-only online launch Jan. 24, four days ahead of the first preseason test of the year. Images, videos and information about the car will be revealed on the team's official website at 12pm (F1).
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