Before his ‘home’ race, Lotus chief comes out swinging

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I’d say Tony Fernandes is gearing up the fan base ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian GP.

Now, Lotus just has deliver some solid finishes, and even two “starts” would be great.

According to the BBC, Lotus boss Fernandez is charging the established Formula 1 teams with a bit of “snobbery” toward the new kids on the block and, basically, a lack of respect.

“There is a bit of snobbery as well,” said Fernandes, who has brought Lotus back to F1 after a 15-year hiatus.

“It motivates me. We’ve always been underdogs, but we’re keeping one eye open toward reaching the top.”

[snip]

“How many southeast Asian teams are on the grid? That is a victory.

“The Malaysians will be hoping we’ll beat Virgin and Hispania, that’s a realistic target. The realism is there, the pride is there, I feel it very strongly.”

I like to think of this as the “anti-Horse Whisperer.”

But perhaps where he’s really throwing some meat to the fan base is his promise for future success:

“If we’re still last in three seasons we’ve wasted our time. I’m quietly optimistic.

“The targets for the boys (Trulli and Kovalainen) are finish all the races, and be the best of the new teams. The eventual target is to be up there with Ferrari and McLaren,” Fernandes added.

That’s a high target to reach, although clearly Lotus is the most successful of the new teams thus far.

What does everyone think? Is Tony Fernandes just trying to excite the Malaysian fans and push a little extra PR before this weekend’s race? Is he being at all realistic?

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