Team Lotus has announced that it has extended its Renault engine deal through to the end of 2013, with a view to the partnership continuing beyond that date. The squad will also continue to use gearboxes supplied by Red Bull Technology, and will use KERS for the first time next season.
The original agreement between Lotus, Renault and Red Bull expired at the end of next year.
Lotus boss Tony Fernandes said: "Having established an incredibly good working partnership since the first days of our agreement we are absolutely delighted that Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will be playing such an integral role in the ongoing development of our team until at least 2013, and then we are aiming to keep working together when the new rules are introduced.
"They are both passionate, dedicated teams of people with whom we have a growing relationship that is creating a number of exciting opportunities for us for the future. They share our vision for where we want to take our team, and we are very proud to have their power pushing us forward."
Fernandes sees the addition of KERS next year as a particularly valuable part of the new deal.
"Not only will we be able to build on everything we have learnt through working with Renault and Red Bull Technology in 2011, but we will now have the added benefit of KERS for next year, which really is a major step forward for our team," he said. "We have done the very best job we can this year but without that extra power we are always competing on a different level to the teams ahead, so to give our drivers that boost is a key element of helping us catch the cars ahead, and compete with them when we do so."
Renault Sport F1's managing director Jean-Francois Caubet is confident that Lotus will make strides up the field during the coming years.
"This year we have established solid foundations with Team Lotus and this latest agreement consolidates the relationship that we look forward to continuing for many seasons to come," said Caubet. "Renault is in F1 to display the quality of its product, so we need to be associated with teams that clearly have potential. The steps Team Lotus has made on and off track with its technical structure and facilities have given us a confidence they will achieve their aims.
"KERS is now an essential part to a competitive performance in F1 today and we hope this supply will help the team continue its evolution. Furthermore a wider experience of using the KERS system at this point in time will help in the development of the powerful energy recovery systems that will be introduced under the future engine regulations."
The deal was also welcomed by Red Bull chief Christian Horner, who said the joint arrangement with Lotus underlined the collaboration between his organization and Renault.
"This endorses the joint venture between Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology, which will continue to develop in the coming months," Horner said. "Hopefully this will enable Team Lotus to build on the significant progress they have already made this season."
Lotus had hoped that the Renault/Red Bull package would be a key ingredient in its progress up the field in 2011, as it aimed to score points in its second year in Formula 1. But so far, although the gap to the cars ahead has narrowed slightly and it has remained clear of fellow 2010 arrivals Virgin and HRT, Lotus has not threatened to break into the top 10 and 13th places are its best results of the season. However it is on course to finish 10th in the constructors' championship for a second straight year.
In addition to Lotus, Renault also supplies engines to champion team Red Bull and its former works operation, which presently still runs under the Renault name. From next season, Williams will also use Renault power again for the first time since its title-winning days in the 1990s.