Lotus will in effect utilise the drivetrain of the 2009 Red Bull RB5 on next year’s car. Having already agreed to use Renault engines, Lotus has opted to source its gearboxes and hydraulic systems from RBR, as the works Renault team was not able to fulﬁl its requirements.
Ongoing problems with hydraulics forced Lotus to move away from the Cosworth package, although the engine supplier itself was not at fault. The team has bought its way out of the last two seasons of its three-year contract.
While using the 2009 Red Bull gearbox sounds like a retrograde step, in fact its layout is better optimised for next year’s regulations, when double diffusers are banned. Last year Red Bull had to compromise because its gearbox did not lend itself to the double diffuser concept as well as those of rival teams, so the 2010 gearbox was designed around it.
“We talked to several teams regarding the gearbox,” Mike Gascoyne told Motor Sport. “And the only one that could really supply for the engine we wanted, for the rear suspension layout that we wanted, was Red Bull.
“It’s not their 2011 package, but it’s very much a lighter layout than the 2010 ’box. It’s exactly the right package for us.”