Lotus’s new Formula One team has put on hold plans to relocate from Norfolk to Malaysia.
When the team was launched last September, plans were revealed by team boss Tony Fernandes to move from Hingham, Norfolk, to Malaysia’s F1 track at Sepang.
But the involvement of Group Lotus is likely to see the team remain in Norfolk, according to Lotus’s Gino Rosato, who moved to the road car side of Lotus from Ferrari’s F1 team last year.
Rosato said Lotus F1 and Group Lotus were “partners” and new Lotus CEO Danny Bahar was keen to see greater integration between the two firms. Rosato said this would include Lotus F1 remaining in Norfolk.
Fernandes confirmed that the move to Malaysia was on hold, but said he would still like to see the team based there in future.
“Right now, stability is important and there are no plans to move to Malaysia yet," he said. "In time, obviously, it would be great to be in Malaysia because there's a Formula One track, but we have no immediate plans to move.”
Although the team is based at Hingham, much of the design of Lotus’s T127 has been undertaken in Cologne, Germany. Many of Lotus’s staff have been appointed from Toyota, which closed down its F1 operation late last year.