“Following an intensive selection and due diligence process, the FIA has awarded the 13th entry in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship to the Lotus F1 Team,” said the FIA release.
“The FIA also received an impressive application from the BMW Sauber Team. However, given that BMW has announced it will withdraw its support in 2010, there are still uncertainties regarding the future ownership of the team.”
“Nevertheless, the FIA considers that BMW Sauber’s application is of high quality and would constitute a competitive participant in the Championship. As such, it has awarded BMW Sauber the '14th place' in the Championship meaning that it will be entitled to fill any vacancy that arises on the 2010 grid.”
“In addition, the FIA believes that a good case can be made for expanding the grid to 14 teams. The FIA will be consulting urgently with the existing teams regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010,” added the statement.
Lotus F1 Team will be based at Norfolk, UK and will benefit from full financial backing from the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs. The company's actual name is 1Malaysia F1 Team, but it will run under the Lotus F1 Team designation while ran by Team Principal Tony Fernandes. Technical Director for the new team will be Mike Gascoyne, returning to Formula One after his controversial years at Force India.