Peter Anderson | Nov 23, 2012

Team Lotus will be sponsored by Coca-Cola's Swedish-market energy drink Burn from 2013, in a multi-year deal announced yesterday.

"We are proud that The Coca-Cola Company has chosen Lotus F1 Team as the best vehicle to represent the Burn brand in its most high profile partnership," Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said.

Reports this week had suggested the former Renault works team, operating under an ownership structure that includes investment fund GENII, was in financial trouble.

The acquisition of Burn should silence the rumour mill, with drivers Raikkonen and Grosjean set to continue with the team in 2013.

The squad, based in Renault's old factory in Enstone, southern England, has had an interesting year.

Critics fired up before the season began over the team's signing of the monosyllabic Finn Kimi Raikkonen, along with the crash-prone Romain Grosjean.

Raikkonen, who has become one of the real stories of F1 in 2012, performed erratically in early races until it was found that his steering wheel was set up for a right-handed driver - the 2007 world champion is left-handed.

His performance in the latter half of the season was a revelation for many - most expected it would take at least two seanons to for the Finn to re-adjust to Formula One racing.

The breakthrough victory finally came at the recent Abu Dhabi race, the result of a faultless drive by Raikkonen.

Speculation over the team's viability had reached fever pitch in recent days, with MTV3 Finland asking Raikkonen himself about the money situation, to which he replied, "I don't know where this stuff comes from."

While the name Team Lotus has only been back in F1 for a few years, it has been fraught with drama. In 2011, two teams ran with the name Lotus (the other renaming to Caterham for 2012), and much time has been spent in court to solve the legalities of the name.

The new deal is something of a coup for Lotus - Coca Cola has been a prime target for F1 teams for many years and getting the giant into the sport will help F1 as it ramps up in the US.

[Note: top photo modified by TMR]

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