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Malaysia Lotus-Cosworth
Lotus f1 racing.svg
Full name Lotus Racing
Base Hingham, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Team principal(s) Tony Fernandes
CEO Riad Asmat
Technical director Mike Gascoyne
2010 Formula One season
Race drivers 18. Italy Jarno Trulli
19. Finland Heikki Kovalainen
Test drivers Malaysia Fairuz Fauzy
Chassis Lotus T127
Engine Cosworth CA2010
Tyres Bridgestone
Formula One World Championship Career
Debut 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

Lotus Racing, also referred to by the company name 1Malaysia F1 Team by the Malaysian media[1][2][3] and parliament,[4] is a Formula One team, making its debut in the 2010 Formula One season. Despite Lotus Racing and the former Team Lotus not being connected by much more than name, Team Principal Tony Fernandes was clear that if and when the team were to win it would not be Lotus Racing's first but Lotus' 80th victory.[5]

The team gained its entry after BMW announced they would withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season. They have joined Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing F1 Team as new teams for 2010.

Contents

History

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Formation

Lotus Racing is run by 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn. Bhd., a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs[6] such as Proton (who owns Lotus Cars), Sepang International Circuit (SIC), Tune Group, Naza Motors, the Motorsports Association of Malaysia and Automobile Association of Malaysia. The Malaysian Government, has, however emphasized that the government itself is not going to invest in the team[7] and that the Malaysian government’s investment is only through Proton.[4] The project is part of the 1Malaysia initiative, intended to promote unity amongst Malaysians.

The team was formed after the Litespeed F3 team approached Malaysian entrepreneur Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes.[8] Litespeed had made their own bid to enter the 2010 season with the Team Lotus name, but were not awarded an entry.

It marks the return of the Lotus name as a constructor to Formula One for the first time since 1994, when the original British company Team Lotus stopped competing in Formula One. The connection between the new and old teams is the Lotus name and the owner of Lotus Cars, Proton, being an investor in the present team.

Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes, founder and CEO of the Malaysian-based Tune Group, owner of the AirAsia airline, is the team principal. Having initially planned to stand down from the role after the season begins,[9] he has since indicated that he will carry on in this position.[10] The team's technical director is Mike Gascoyne.[6] Lotus shareholders S. M. Nasarudin and Kamarudin Meranun are the deputy team principals.[11]

The team announced the appointment of Riad Asmat as the Chief Executive Officer of 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn. Bhd.[1] Asmat was formerly working in the managing director's office of Proton Holdings Berhad as General Manager. In Proton Holdings Berhad in 2006, Riad was tasked with the development of its motorsports programme. This included the R3 and Proton Axle Team. Riad also managed the company's involvement in A1 Team Malaysia. Keith Saunt is also appointed as Chief Operating Officer of the team and has been selected to manage the technical organisation in Britain reporting directly to Mike Gascoyne. Saunt was tasked with overseeing technical operations on a day-to-day basis at the team's current facility in Hingham, Norfolk. His previous experience includes senior roles with Team Lotus, Benetton Formula, Renault F1 and most recently Red Bull Racing, where he held the role of chief operating officer and director of Red Bull Technology.[12]

The team will initially be based at the RTN (Racing Technology Norfolk Ltd.) facility in Norfolk, UK, 10 miles (16 km) from the Lotus Cars factory. The team’s future design, R&D, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose-built at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit,[6] but no clear timetable for this move has been made.[13]

On 2 March 2010, the team announced that a sponsorship deal had been signed with CNN.[14]

2010 season

Jarno Trulli driving the Lotus T127 during pre-season testing at Jerez.
Heikki Kovalainen finished in fifteenth position during the car's race début, at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Following the team's late acceptance into F1 following BMW Sauber's departure Gascoyne said "We've got a great heritage that we've got to live up to". He also said they wanted to rival the debut of Brawn GP but said that would be a greater challenge as the Brawn team already had a car ready for racing all they needed was financing. He also mentioned the main objective was to have a car on the grid in Bahrain at 2010.[15]

Development of the 2010 car started late, due to the late acceptance of the team's entry. Working with Fondtech on aerodynamics, the team will use engines supplied by Cosworth,[6] and gearboxes from Xtrac.[16] The design was revealed in October 2009 at the start of the wind tunnel programme.[17] On 17 November, Gascoyne and Fernandes gave a joint interview saying they're "feeling the pressure of the famous name".[18] The 2010 car, named the T127, was officially launched in London on 12 February 2010.[19]

On 14 November, Fernandes said to the press that the team had signed their first driver, but without giving any name.[20] One month later, the team announced their drivers for season 2010 as former Toyota driver Jarno Trulli and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen.[21] Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy was also confirmed as the team's test and reserve driver.[22]

Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister of Malaysia who was touted as the Father of Motor Racing in Malaysia for being the visionary behind the birth of the Sepang International Circuit and the Malaysian Grand Prix, visited the team on 23 February 2010 at the team's base at Norfolk. He said he came because he did not believe the team could get the car ready in time for the season opening race in Bahrain but was proven wrong when the car was ready and said that he was impressed with what he saw. “They actually got the car running. Well, I lost my bet but fortunately, no money is involved.”[23]

Complete Formula One results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Points WCC
2010 Lotus T127 Cosworth CA2010 V8 B BHR
AUS
MAL
CHN
ESP
MON
TUR
CAN
EUR
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
SIN
JPN
KOR
BRA
ABU
0* 9th*
Italy Jarno Trulli 17≠
Finland Heikki Kovalainen 15

* Season in progress.
The driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified, as he completed over 90% of the race distance.

References

  1. ^ a b Riad Asmat From Proton Is New 1Malaysia F1 Racing Team CEO, Bernama 30 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  2. ^ 1Malaysia F1 team to be formed (Update 2) The Star online, 15 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  3. ^ 1 Malaysia F1 Team, Tony to lead, Blogspot 1 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  4. ^ a b (Parliament) Pelaburan Kerajaan dalam Pasukan F1 Malaysia, Ornithopter (Blogspot), 30 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  5. ^ "Car had to be true to Lotus, insists Gascoyne". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-02-15. http://www.crash.net/f1/news/156858/1/car_had_to_be_true_to_lotus_insists_gascoyne.html. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Lotus confirmed for 2010 as FIA pushes for 14 teams". The Official Formula 1 Website. 15 September 2009. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/9/9934.html. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  7. ^ No govt equity in 1Malaysia F1 Team project, The Star Online, 26 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  8. ^ "Exclusive Q&A with Lotus's Tony Fernandes". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2009-09-25. http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2009/9/9986.html. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  9. ^ Noble, Jonathan (2009-09-18). "Lotus boss plans to step down soon". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/78691. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  10. ^ "Italy's Jarno Trulli heads Lotus F1 shortlist". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-12-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8404964.stm. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  11. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (2010-02-16). "Lotus strengthens management team". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81534. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  12. ^ 1 Malaysia Lotus F1 appoints former Proton GM as CEO, The Malaysian Insider, 31 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  13. ^ "Lotus stalls on Malaysian move". ESPNF1.com (ESPN EMEA Ltd.). 2010-02-13. http://en.espnf1.com/lotus/motorsport/story/8746.html. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  14. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (2010-03-02). "Lotus Racing joins forces with CNN". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81802. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  15. ^ "BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula 1 | Lotus hope to rival Brawn debut". BBC News. 2009-10-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8317246.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  16. ^ "Lotus target February car launch". BBC News. 2009-10-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8308035.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  17. ^ Lotus reveals 2010 F1 design, Racecar Engineering, 14 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  18. ^ Benson, Andrew (2009-11-17). "BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula 1 | Lotus feel weight of famous name". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8359642.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  19. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (2010-01-14). "Lotus reveals 2010 car launch date". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80888. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  20. ^ "Lotus F1 team sign first driver". BBC News. 2009-11-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8360705.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  21. ^ "Prime Minister announces Lotus Racing 2010 drivers - Lotus F1 Fan Site". http://www.lotusf1racing.my/article/items/prime-minister-announces-lotus-f1-racing-2010-drivers.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  22. ^ "Trulli, Kovalainen confirmed at Lotus". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 2009-12-14. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80563. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  23. ^ Tuck Wo, Choi (2010-02-23). "Lotus F1 Racing team must win, says Dr Mahathir". The Star (Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad). http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/2/23/nation/20100223090604&sec=nation. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 

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