Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lotus F1 Racing Revs Up One Week Ahead Of Schedule

Mike Gascoyne hopes the progress made by Lotus on developing their 2010 contender, will allow them to mix it with the midfield runners by the Spanish grand prix. Lotus will return to formula one racing in 2010 with Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes at the helm, after an absence of 15 years, along with three other new entries Virgin Racing, USF1 and Campos Meta.
Staff at the Lotus F1 factory in Hingham, Norfolk, said they have been braving the treacherous weather conditions and battling through the heavy snow and ice that has blanketed the UK over the past week, determined to continue work on their 2010 car.According to the team's technical director Gascoyne, this determination and commitment by the Lotus engineers has paid off, as development of the team's first F1 contender is well ahead of schedule.
A statement on the official Lotus website, quoting Gasgoyne, said: "We had been looking at firing up our engine for the first time on 12th February, but with the efforts everyone's been putting in we have now been able to bring that forward to 5th February.
"This is obviously a great boost for everyone involved in the team, and shows how much hard work has already gone in since we had our entry confirmed on September 12th."With the engine fire up date in the diary, we are also in a position to confirm that we will be on track for the first time at the third official test at Jerez from February 17th, and then at Barcelona from February 25th.
"We are also aiming to run chassis two for the last two days of that Barcelona test."With such a high rate of progress, Gascoyne said he is hoping the team can begin mixing it with the midfield runners at around the start of the European season, when Lotus will introduce its first major upgrade package of the year.
"We have said we are aiming to be ahead of the new teams when we all reach Bahrain, but we would also like to be pretty close to the midfield teams after the first few races of the season," said Gascoyne.
"The update we have planned for Spain will see a boost in performance when we reach Barcelona which will give us the chance to start fighting with the slowest of the established teams which, given progress so far, has to be the next goal for us."Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has been quoted as saying he has faith in Gascoyne and believes the team has a real shot at achieving results in 2010.
In an interview with 422race.com, the Lotus boss said: "Come March, we are on the grid. It's up to us how we'll perform after that."Despite the high rate of progress, Lotus has yet to confirm the date and the location of its 2010 car launch.The manufacturer became the first of the new teams to fill both its race-seats, taking on ex-McLaren racer Heikki Kovalainen, who lost his seat at McLaren to Jenson Button, and former Toyota driver Jarno Trulli.
In an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk, Kovalainen said: "For me my time with McLaren didn't work in terms of results, I didn't feel like I got everything out of the team."But I feel what I learnt from McLaren I will take into my future career and I will start from here."This is a good opportunity for me and hopefully I will be able to get everything out of the team and hopefully the results will show that."
11 January 2010, 12:00

No comments: