We couldn’t help smiling at the by-now obligatory picture of the current/past F1 star next to a Lotus Evora – it has become a rite of passage for famous motor racing visitors to Lotus’ Hethel headquarters, although we can’t help wondering why one of the New Era models wasn’t used instead (at least for the photo call).

The other ‘subtle’ message within the picture is the contested provenance of Lotus’ racing heritage – Alesi and the Evora are pictured against the backdrop of some of the most iconic Lotus racing cars, past winners of the Formula 1 Constructors Championship, clearly portraying the ex-F1 grand prix winner as part of a renaissance to reclaim Lotus’ illustrious past.

Just in case you’ve missed the previous photo calls featuring Brundle, Villeneuve, Trulli and Kovalainen, we’ve put together a little gallery below.

Lotus’ latest signing takes to the track with the award-winning Evora

Here’s what Lotus had to say about it all..

Less than 24 hours after the announcement of his commitment to Lotus as a brand ambassador for the Type 125 programme, former F1 driver Jean Alesi visited the Lotus Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk and put one of the road cars through its paces.

During his visit Alesi also took time out to look over the facilities including the production lines before heading out on the test track with one of the current range.

Commenting on his visit Jean Alesi said: “I’m really impressed with the set up here, it’s fantastic, so much care and attention to detail goes into the production. Every element from design through to engineering is spectacular. Driving the Evora was a lot of fun too. Perhaps people make the mistake of underestimating the Evora, it handles really well, great power, overall performance and most of all fun – everything I would expect from a Lotus. I really enjoyed driving it.”

He didn’t just keep the experience to himself though, in the days leading up to his visit, on-site Lotus employees were given the opportunity to enter a competition to win a passenger lap with the F1 legend – as a result, five lucky Lotus staff members had the exclusive chance to ride shotgun with Alesi. Not quite your average Friday at work some might argue.

Gino Rosato, Director of Corporate Operations, said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be working with Jean again and it’s great that we can do something fun for the team here too – team morale is crucial to our success. I think Jean’s passion for motorsport and determination to make the best out of everything he does perfectly complements the spirit of Lotus.”

In the next few days Alesi will be heading to Italy for testing with the Type 125, Lotus’ exclusive ultra high performance F1 inspired customer race-car. Given his F1 pedigree, Alesi makes the perfect ambassador for the programme.

Photo Gallery