Lotus permitted to leave IndyCar Series
7 December 2012 – IndyCar organisers have allowed Lotus to end its engine-supplying contract early, with the famous brand enduring a difficult campaign in 2012. Reliability and top speed issues blighted the manufacturer all season long, resulting in the cars of Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro being pulled from the prestigious Indianapolis 500.
As pre-season testing got underway, it quickly became clear that the drivers powered by Lotus engines were at a severe disadvantage to their Chevrolet and Honda rivals. With the company initially supplying Bryan Herta Autosport, Dragon Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold and HVM, all bar the latter switched providers before the flagship Indy 500 event arrived in May. Alesi and de Silvestro, whose cars were some 15 mph slower than the leaders, were black flagged after just ten laps of the Indianapolis race.
This left Lotus with little choice but to abandon their current IndyCar efforts ahead of the 2013 season, but the company's Chief Operating Officer, Aslam Farikullah, said a future return could be possible.
"Lotus is grateful to IndyCar for the opportunity to compete during the 2012 season and for the support provided throughout," Farikullah explained of the situation. "The decision not to continue was not an easy one and Lotus does not discount the possibility to re-enter the series at some time in the future.
"For the time being, Lotus will focus on core business activities as a leading sports car manufacturer and world class engineering consultancy."
Chevrolet and Honda will continue to supply IndyCar teams with engines in 2013. As per the regulations, both companies must be able to supply 60 percent of the grid.
Lotus's early days as engine supplier