The Lotus F1 team will run the Virgin Formula E entry, says Marc Priestly, a freelance F1 broadcaster, analyst and journalist.
Priestly spent a decade working as a mechanic and pit crew for top team McLaren, developing a wide range of contacts throughout F1 in the process.
Current E has been unable to confirm the story with the Lotus team, being told by a spokesperson that there is no information to either confirm or deny the partnership. We do know that many Formula E outfits will likely have operating partners who will supply technical personnel and run the race teams on a day to day basis. The Virgin Racing team will be headed up by Alex Tai, who has been involved with many of Virgin’s innovative ventures, including its space programme.
Lotus will provide staff from their show car, or demo, team to build and operate the new cars from Formula E’s brand new base as the Donington Park circuit in the UK. The team will however be branded as Virgin Racing Formula E team and not have any public association with Lotus.
The deal provides much needed extra income for the team, but crucially also helps to secure the jobs of those currently at their Enstone base, who might otherwise have found themselves in a precarious position.
It’s understood that Lotus personnel will operate the Formula E team from Donington, as well as attend each of the 10 rounds of the new championship.