By 3am on Saturday morning Lotus Racing had finally finished packing up the six airfreight boxes needed for the journey to Bahrain and the beginning of the 2010 Formula One TM season. Two cars and a 60-strong team have now made their way to the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Bahrain International Circuit for the first race of much anticipated 2010 season.
The first race for a new team has to be a combination of excitement, nerves, anticipation and anxiety but Lotus F1 Racing seems to be taking it in stride as they prepare for their maiden race in Bahrain this week.
Team Principle Tony Fernandes commented:
“We are all looking forward to Bahrain; to have Lotus Racing on the grid will be a momentous occasion for all involved and, indeed, for our fans, whose support has been absolutely fantastic since we launched just under six months ago. Yes we are a little slower than the major leading teams, however we will get there, with passion, hard work and a clear vision – our aim for this first Grand Prix will be to finish and steadily but surely improve, race by race.”
Issuing one of the more sensible approaches to the first season and first race seems to be Lotus F1 Racing’s calling card. They admittedly are off pace with the top teams but that is correctly viewed as a measuring stick of progress. They fully intend to be the best of the new teams and with Fernandes and technical director Mike Gascoyne, they may very well succeed in that endeavor. Gascoyne said:
“Our test season was extremely productive – in general we’ve had very good reliability, and the team is in very good shape going to the first race.”
The key to any race is finishing and like Gascoyne, I have been impressed with the Cosworth engines ability to pound out the mileage during testing. The best result may be finishing the race and harvesting critical data to help the team develop the car further.
To those ends, driver Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen are perfectly suited to deliver consistent performances, barring first turn debacles not of their making, and provide the data the team needs.
Scoring points would be the best result as Trulli said:
“It would be nice to score a point, but it is not going to be easy. We have to be realistic.”
Being realistic, that may not be as difficult as it has been in the past due to the 2010 points system changes allowing points from first to tenth place as follows: 1st â€“ 25 points, 2nd â€“ 18 points, 3rd â€“ 15 points and then 12-10-8-6-4-2-1. Trulli rightfully knows that scoring points in F1 is difficult but to score you have to finish the race and Trulli is the right man for the job.
Lotus Racing will spend the week preparing in Bahrain and look forward to hitting the track in anger for the first practice session on Friday, exactly six months to the day after gaining their entry place into 2010 Formula OneTM World Championship.