Team Lotus has confirmed that Steve Nielsen will be joining the team as Sporting Director from December 12. He will replace engineer Dieter Gass who is returning home to Germany.
Steve Nielsen is a highly respected F1 player, who worked his way up through the ranks in F1 working with Team Lotus in the 1980s, then Tyrrell, Benetton and Arrows. In 2000 he rejoined Benetton as Sporting Manager and has led the race team through to its current incarnation as Renault ever since.
“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,” said Tony Fernandes. “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. I am also very pleased that we have been able to agree a new contract with Graham Watson [team manager] as he has been one of the core pillars of our team, and has had a direct influence on our growth, both on and off track. There are more announcements to come over the next few weeks which will all help us achieve our long-term goals, and today’s news about Steve and Graham is another step forward for the whole team.”