Lotus has announced that it has recruited Force India design director Mark Smith (left) to become its technical director. A statement from Lotus said that Smith would join its team after working a "notice period" at Force India.
Fellow Force India design team members Lewis Butler and Marianne Hinson have also been announced as new additions to Lotus' technical lineup, as chief designer and head of aerodynamics, respectively. All three have previously worked with Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne in other teams.
"I'm exceptionally pleased to welcome Marianne and Lewis to Lotus Racing, and I'm very excited to once again be teaming up with Mark Smith who I have previously worked with at Jordan, Renault and Force India," said Gascoyne. "Lewis and I were together at Force India, and Lewis also worked with Mark Smith at Red Bull, and Marianne and I have known each other since 1999 when I gave her her first job in F1 at Jordan, so we all know each other very well.
"Mark Smith and I were first at Jordan together where our first car was the 199, Jordan's most successful F1 entrant, and then he came with me to Renault where we helped put them back on the top step of the podium, and put in place the team that went on to win two World Championships. Most recently we were together at Force India, and I'm delighted he sees the potential we have here, and has seized the opportunity to work with me, Tony [Fernandes] and the whole team on helping Lotus Racing reach the front of the grid."
Team owner Tony Fernandes also welcomed the new appointments, saying he was particularly pleased to attract established technical names early in his team's existence.
"I am honored that these fantastic talents have put their careers and their faith in Lotus Racing, and see the very bright future we all have together here," he said. "Formula 1 is a small world and the fact that they are coming to our team shows what we have already achieved in a very short period.
"Nothing will stop us from bringing in the best people we can, and we will give them the best working environment, and create the perfect atmosphere for them to fulfill their own potential, and help us in our quest to reach the top."