Team Lotus has finally confirmed the long expected news that Steve Nielsen is joining the Norfolk outfit as Sporting Director.
The former policeman held a similar role at Renault until leaving earlier this season. Nielsen worked for the original Team Lotus in 1986-94, and had a long spell as Tyrrell team manager, where he worked with Mike Gascoyne for the first time. He replaces former Toyota man Dieter Gass, who is leaving the team.
“It is excellent news for the team that Steve has accepted the offer to join us as Sporting Director,” said Gascoyne. “I have worked with him extensively in the past at both Tyrrell and Renault where we played our parts in helping to build Championship winning teams, which is what we are aiming to do with Team Lotus. I am sure he will integrate very quickly into our operation and will be made very welcome by everyone in Hingham and Malaysia.
“We have also had some more very good news with the confirmation that our Team Manager Graham Watson has signed a new contract after having played a vital role in the factory and the race team since the early days of Team Lotus. This gives us a trackside team with experience, vision and strength in depth and I am sure both Steve and Graham will help us keep pushing forward as we make our challenge for long-term honours.”
Tony Fernandes added: “I first met Steve in Singapore 2010 and offered him a job then which he turned down, so I am delighted he has finally taken up the chance to join us.
“It is a good mark of our team that we can attract people of Steve’s calibre and I am thrilled that someone who is so well respected, and is coming from a team that is ahead of us in so many ways, shares our belief in our ability to grow and, in due course, challenge the midfield.”