Lotus F1 is to build its own wind tunnel facility in its Hingham, UK base as part of an expansion program that is being put in place over the next few years.
With the team having already laid down some good foundations having secured Renault engines and Red Bull Racing gearboxes for 2011, the squad has now announced plans for growing its Hingham base. As well as having its own wind tunnel facility, the team has confirmed that its new GP2 team, Team AirAsia will also have its base next to the F1 factory.
Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne said: "To compete at the highest level in Formula 1 it is important to have all of the key elements involved in the design, manufacturing, testing and development of our cars under our direct control and on the same site. Today's announcement about the wind tunnel, which will be combined with additional production, office and administrative elements, gives us both the facility we need to lay the foundations for long-term success and is a clear sign that we are very serious about competing at the sharp end of the grid as quickly as we can.
"We have already achieved a phenomenal rate of growth for the team, and now have all the main functions in place to take the next step up, but I think it is important to also see that we are using our budget effectively, and focusing expenditure where it counts.
"Investing in our own wind tunnel, to work alongside our substantial in-house CFD facility, is a key element in establishing complete control of one of the most important aspects of the design and manufacturing process in our sport, and it is clear to see that this sort of investment points towards a very bright future for the team."