The race was entertaining as the cars were bunched up again with 17 laps to go due to the safety car coming out after a racing incident. So it was basically down to the wire.
However, the Malaysian Grand Prix happens this coming weekend (the 25th of March 2012) over at Sepang and the carnival has started early for some.
The newly minted Lotus F1 Team (Lotus bought out the Renault F1 team last year) have started the ball rolling displaying their latest challenger, the E20.
It was displayed and driven in front of the Malaysian public at Proton's Power of 1 Event. Donuts and all.
Driven by former F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen and newbie Romain Grosjean, Raikkonen did quite well coming in 7th over at Melbourne while Grosjean did not finish. It wasn't too long ago that a powered by Renault car propelled Fernando Alonso to two world championships and it is a good platform for any car manufacturer to gain entry into F1.
Of course we have to note that Renault is an automobile manufacturer in their own right and must have decided that they had to spend tons of money on their own in Formula 1. That is why they must have become enginge suppliers.
It makes perfect sense money-wise and so we now have the Lotus F1 Team – Powered by Renault.
The nagging question right now is that Proton, which owns Lotus cars, has been taken over by DRB-Hicom from the Malaysian government run Khazanah Nasional. Would new owners DRB-Hicom continue its investment in Lotus on the levels of the previous management?
I would understand Proton allowing Lotus to continue its 5 year plan for the revitalisation of its road cars but would it maintain Lotus' spending in Formula 1? Formula 1 budgets are usually massive and I believe that a public listed company would ultimately listen to its shareholders and profitability. So is Formula 1 profitable for Lotus in the long run?
Running a Formula 1 team is profitable if the team is consistently winning. Because big name sponsors are willing to spend money to have their names on the cars in order to create brand awareness.
And if you finish high the team, would also get a larger cut in the syndication rights too.
Right now the Lotus F1 is riding on Renault's previous success and the team has basically done well over at Melbourne I suppose the future of Lotus in Formula 1 depends on its performance over the year and years to come.