For many years in Formula One, the biggest name in the sport is Ferrari. The Tifosi and the red banner at every racing event are viewed all over the world. Old Lotus F1 Car. Photo by xpb.cc. However, Formula One has another classic...
For many years in Formula One, the biggest name in the sport is Ferrari. The Tifosi and the red banner at every racing event are viewed all over the world.
However, Formula One has another classic team, Lotus, where the green and yellow clashed and made world champions under the direction of the legendary Colin Chapman, whose drivers earned the prestigious crown: Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti.
Now, 17 years since their last appearance on the grid, the 1960's color version of green and yellow is returning in a more modern approach, as the 2010 version of Lotus Racing T127 was launched Friday evening at the Royal Horticultural Center in London, England.
Considering that the team is based in Norfolk, England, the main feature of the squad is the backing from Malaysia. But the opening of the event did not deter Team Principal Tony Fernandes, who was delighted to show his new project off.
"I am extremely proud to be here today and to be able to show the world the fruits of the team's hard work," said Fernandes. "Now we've achieved two major milestones; confirming our entry and unveiling our car. But now the real work starts. Next we move on to testing and the season ahead, and I'm confident that the team will exceed expectations wherever we go, and will do so on a wave of support around the world that has been growing daily since we first unleashed Lotus Racing back in September '09."
An experienced engineer has taken over the job as Technical Officer for the team, and this falls under the watchful eye of former Renault and Toyota tech specialist Mike Gasgoyne.
"The last few months have been some of the most challenging of my career, but it's been a challenge the whole team and I have thrived on since we first started work on the car up in Norfolk," he said. "The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead."
Normally, new teams have had the incentive of hiring less experienced drivers to begin their new venture but at Lotus this is not the case as veteran Jarno Trulli, and his teammate Heikki Kovalainen, are behind the wheel. Trulli knew that he has to contain the high expectations of having banner results, but this does not bother the Italian, who is willing to accept lesser results.
"It is a big responsibility to drive a car with the name Lotus, but I am really looking forward to it," he said. "I am very proud and happy to have secured such a good seat for this season. We are looking to the future. As a young team we can't expect to go out there and be on pole position straight away; it is a massive job to start to build a car from nothing. I think we have a great team and we will work very hard to improve very quickly."
As for Kovalainen, his fourth season in Formula One cannot be anything more than an improvement after his past seasons with Renault and McLaren Mercedes, where he had a tough time with the 2008 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.
"I am so impressed with what the team has achieved so far, to be honest the guys have really exceeded my expectations," he said. "There is a lot of pressure on all of us to race under the Lotus name but I am so proud to add my name to a list of such exceptional drivers like Mansell and Senna. I really can't wait to get to Jerez next week and start to drive the car."
The team has already given the car a shakedown recently at Silverstone in England, and now is looking forward to it's first group test at Jerez next week.