Nielsen agrees to join Team Lotus as sporting director

    Team Lotus will have the experience of Steve Nielsen in their set-up next season.

    Story highlights

    • Team Lotus confirm that Steve Nielsen will become their new sporting director
    • Nielsen will be taking over the reins from German Dieter Gass
    • The announcement follows the news that Lotus will be known as Caterham F1
    CNN-sponsored Team Lotus have confirmed that Steve Nielsen has accepted an offer to join them as their new sporting director, after initially rejecting the post last year.
    Nielsen, who has worked for Tyrrell, Benetton and Arrows in Formula One, as well as the Lotus team in their original guise, will be taking over from Dieter Gass next month, who is returning to his native Germany
    In 2000, Nielsen rejoined Benetton as sporting manager and has led the them through to its current set-up as Renault ever since.
    Team Lotus, who will be changing their name to Caterham F1 for the 2012 season, confirmed the news in an official statement with chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne saying: "Firstly we are sorry to say goodbye at the end of the season to Dieter Gass.
    "Dieter was instrumental in helping us put our first car on the grid in 2010 and for bringing the team to such a high level in record time.
    "But it is excellent news that Steve has accepted the offer to join us as sporting director. 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."
    Team principal 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 caliber 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 challenge the midfield."