Good for them. All of them.
Lotus, even at five cars, has been stretched too thin this year. Behind on development, the smaller engine program was simply being outpunched by Chevy and Honda at every turn. As great as the overall racing has been this year, it’s no fun watching your favorite drivers struggle.
Experienced talented drivers such as Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani were racing their hearts out, but simply didn’t have enough in the engine compartment to make it happen. The frustration has been palpable, especially in the last few weeks, when it became readily apparent the struggles weren't isolated to just a single race or team.
With only 3 cars (potentially 4 for Indy), the engine supply issue for Lotus now becomes much less pronounced. Yes, they’re still behind the power curve, but it means Lotus HVM and Lotus Dragon shouldn’t have to worry about an engine and spare showing up for their race. Sure, Simona de Silvestro, Kat Legge, and Sèbastien Bourdais won’t be in top equipment, but being able to concentrate across two teams should be a much easier proposition for the Lotus crew.
|A DRR livery change could be coming swiftly.|
(Courtesy TrackSideOnline.com. Used with permission).
It doesn’t stop there. Within the hour of the BHA/DRR announcement, Michael Shank Racing announced they’ll be entering Jay Howard for the Indy 500 as well this year. Does this mean another one-off Lotus for Indy? It certainly seems that way right now, which is still far less of an obligation than a full-season deal.
The Lotus engine issue could have blown sky-high. Instead, we're currently looking at a more graduated, calmer resolution to matters. That's good for everyone involved. The engine drama will bear watching, but for now, a sort of reason has prevailed. Let's hope it endures.