Lotus has, unsurprisingly, quit its IndyCar Series programme

Lotus has quit the IndyCar Series after just one year of its tilt as an engine supplier for the American open-wheel series.

While it may have had many years of success in a host of championship categories, the firm had an embarrassing outing alongside fellow engine makers Honda and Chevrolet.

Its programme was beset with problems from the outset. After delivering its engines late, the lack of proper funding and development saw its four contracted teams – Dreyer & Reinbold, Dragon, Bryan Herta Autosport and HVM Racing – all suffer with a lack of competitiveness, and that was if the engines ran long enough…

In the end, all but HVM quit the partnership before the Indianapolis 500, leaving the outfit to stagger on as Lotus’ sole representative after a second entry for former F1 driver Jean Alesi (pictured) ended in an embarrassing failure – both cars were parked barely ten laps into the famous oval race for being too slow.

Jean Alesi suffered an embarrassing IndyCar Series debut with LotusIn a laughably-worded statement issued jointly by Lotus and the IndyCar Series, both expressed a hope that Lotus would one day return to the championship.

“Lotus is grateful to INDYCAR for the opportunity to compete during the 2012 season and for the support provided throughout,” Lotus chief operating officer Aslam Farikullah said.

“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.”

“We appreciate the effort that Lotus made in helping return manufacturer competition to IndyCar,” added IndyCar president of operations and strategy Brian Barnhart.

“However, Lotus has made a business decision not to return in 2013 and asked for its release. We wish them well and would welcome their participation again in the future.”

One assumes that both parties are relying on the IndyCar paddock having very short memories…

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.