Formula 1 - Lopez replaces Boullier as Lotus F1 principal

Lotus announced on Friday that co-chairman Gerard Lopez had replaced Frenchman Eric Boullier as principal of the Formula One team.

The timing of the news immediately triggered speculation that Boullier could be heading to McLaren, who were due to launch their 2014 car later in the day.

"Gerard Lopez, will combine his position on the board with the role of Team Principal with immediate effect," Lotus said in a statement.