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F1 Notes: Lotus lands new sponsor; Williams reveals driver plan for Jerez

Jan 20, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-F1-SPAIN-PRACTICE Getty Images

We’ve been writing a lot about Lotus over the off-season and not always for particularly positive reasons. But a bit of good news for the cash-strapped Enstone squad has arrived: A new sponsor.

Danish investment company Saxo Bank has become an “official business partner” for Lotus in this coming Formula One season, just a few days after Lotus owner Gerard Lopez admitted that the potential buy-in deal with Quantum Motorsport had officially been scratched.

Saxo Bank is expanding into motorsports to go along with its presence in cycling as a backer of the Tinkoff-Saxo team, which competes in the top-tier UCI World Tour series.

“We are delighted to begin a relationship with Saxo Bank, a fast-growing online trading and investment specialist who have demonstrated strong support in sport through sponsorships in the world of cycling at the highest level with Team Tinkoff-Saxo,” team principal Eric Boullier said in a statement.

“Saxo Bank are taking an exciting and proactive approach to this new partnership with Lotus F1 Team and we are looking forward to enjoying a long and fruitful relationship.”

Meanwhile, Boullier and Co. continue to work hard on the E22 chassis that’s expected to make its debut sometime before next month’s preseason testing in Bahrain (the team has already announced its absence from next week’s testing at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain).

Late last week, the team confirmed on Twitter that its 2014 challenger had passed all of its homologation tests.

Speaking of Jerez, Williams has confirmed its driver plan for the four-day session that runs from Jan. 28-31.

According to a tweet from their account, F1 sophomore Valtteri Bottas will have the honor of putting the first laps on its all-new machine, the Mercedes-powered FW36; in fact, he’ll drive the car for the first two days of the test.

At that point, he’ll hand it over to veteran Felipe Massa for his on-track debut as a Williams driver. The Brazilian will handle testing duties for the final two days in Spain.

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