Lotus Racing

Formula 1 Team reports for the 2010 F1 season includes race previews, reports and reviews

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Lotus Racing

Postby Ed » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:33 pm

The Lotus Racing Formula 1 team became the 11th team to unveil their 2010 challenger.

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LOTUS RACING UNVEILS LOTUS COSWORTH T127

Lotus Racing today unveiled its 2010 challenger, the Lotus Cosworth T127, at a glittering event in London’s Royal Horticultural Hall. Team Principal Tony Fernandes was joined on stage by Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and drivers Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen and Fairuz Fauzy to take the wraps off the car in front of a 500 strong live audience.

As the lights came up the car’s stunning green and yellow livery was seen for the first time, striking an emotional chord with both young and old alike and evoking memories of some of motor racing’s most iconic moments in an entirely contemporary fashion.

Tony Fernandes gave his thoughts on the astonishing achievement the Lotus Racing team has accomplished in launching the car just five short months since the team was granted its entry to the FIA Formula One World Championships, saying: “I am extremely proud to be here today and to be able to show the world the fruits of the team’s hard work over the last five months. It’s humbling for me and my fellow shareholders, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin to see how a team that five months ago didn’t even exist is now a thriving workforce, full of enthusiasm and passion for Lotus Racing and the challenges ahead and capable of producing such a beautiful machine in such a short time.

“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.”

Mike Gascoyne added his thoughts, saying “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. I’m delighted that we’ve reached this point, and now we have a beautiful car that gives us a great base to work from for the season ahead and a fighting chance of going racing in the right way, with a winning mentality. The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead.”

The Lotus Racing T127 is powered by Cosworth and will use an Xtrac gearbox and, in line with all 2010 teams, will be running on Bridgestone tyres.

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Postby Ed » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:36 pm

LOTUS RACING CONFIRMS DEPUTY TEAM PRINCIPAL APPOINTMENTS

Following the unveiling of the Lotus Cosworth T127 on Friday night, Lotus Racing has this morning announced a strengthening of its senior management team. Team Principal Tony Fernandes has confirmed today that two of the team’s shareholders, S M Nasarudin and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, will be joining Tony as Deputy Team Principals. These appointments give Lotus Racing’s leadership team a strong base from which to lead the company and assist each other through the challenges that lie ahead in driving the team from its current status as a newcomer to the grid to fight for victory on and off track.

Commenting on the appointments, S M Nasarudin said today ““We made this dream possible, turning it from a simple Malaysian dream to reality. This was all made possible through passion, hard work and team spirit. As with all the challenges that we have had to face to get to where we are now, we embraced these challenges as a team and now are even more determined to finish what we have started. We are realistic of our goals and by no means will it be easy from this point onwards, but the belief is there. We will consistently bring with us a professional and confident set up to each of the races for this season. As team owners, and in our Deputy Principal’s roles, it further reflects our continued belief and commitment to this team.”

Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun added his thoughts, saying “One may have the money, but not necessarily the opportunity to invest in an exciting and challenging venture, especially with a team of dedicated and highly committed people – to sum it up, this is unity in diversity at its best, under a legendary name, Lotus Racing. We still have a long road ahead and who knows what the future holds, but we are underway and we just have do the best we can. We have delivered a great product in such a short time period, in one of the most competitive motors-sports platform in the world, and I strongly believe we have the drive, determination and most importantly the passion to see it through - God willing."

Dato’ Seri Tony Fernandes welcomed the appointments, commenting “Our goals and objectives are clear but, as mentioned earlier, there is still a huge task at hand. We have 19 races to go through and, with the three of us assisting each other in our roles, we believe that the management has all the necessary resources to bring the team to the forefront.”

Lotus Racing hit the track in anger for the first time this week, joining the FIA test in Jerez, before moving on to Barcelona next week.

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Postby Ed » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:50 am

LOTUS RACING DAY ONE JEREZ TEST

Lotus Racing has enjoyed a successful first day of testing at Jerez with driver Fairuz Fauzy completing 76 laps without problems, and completing the 300 kms needed to gain his Super Licence, subject to FIA approval.

The team was among the first cars on track in wet conditions, and, despite a lack of power steering, due to supplier issues, Fairuz successfully fulfilled all his and the team’s objectives for the day.

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, said “It’s been an excellent day for the whole team. Firstly I want to say a big thank you to Fairuz who did an excellent job today with the first proper day of running. With so much going on, such as doing systems checks, it can be a pretty disjointed day for the driver. When you add into that the changeable conditions, and also the fact we were running without power steering today, it could have been a tricky day for Fairuz but he didn’t put a foot wrong so well done to him and a big thank you.

“With the car we had no major reliability issues – a few niggles with overheating which were quickly solved and then the car ran pretty faultlessly. The power steering issue will be fixed for tomorrow so all in all a very successful first day and a busy evening ahead preparing the car for tomorrow.”

Fairuz Fauzy was also delighted with his first day behind the wheel of the Lotus Cosworth T127, saying “First of all I want to thank the team. To arrive here and complete 76 laps is fantastic. It was a big challenge, both to complete the 300kms I need for the Super Licence, and with no power steering it was difficult to drive in the dry, not so bad in the wet, so I was driving a bit conservatively but I am just very pleased.”

Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen takes over driving duties for the next two days (Thursday and Friday) before Jarno Trulli joins the action on Saturday.

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Postby Ed » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:01 am

LOTUS RACING DAY TWO JEREZ TEST

Wet conditions in Jerez greeted Lotus Racing as the team arrived on track with Heikki Kovalainen taking over driving duties for Thursday and Friday. First out on track at exactly 9am, Heikki completed his installation lap and returned to the pits to give positive initial feedback to the team about his first drive in the Lotus Cosworth T127.

30 laps later and a small mistake saw the Finn leave the track, bringing the team’s day to an early close, but not before useful data had been accumulated and more insights into the car’s performance had given Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne reasons to be positive. “Unfortunately a small off and a lack of spare parts curtailed the amount of laps we were able to do today, but fortunately we’ve got spare parts arriving this evening. Up to that point we had got on top of some reliability issues from the previous day and the car was running very smoothly. Although we have lost some track time, the changing conditions made it very difficult, so we haven’t lost too much and we’ll be ready to continue with Heikki in the morning.”

Heikki added his thoughts, saying: “My initial feeling from the car is good - it fundamentally feels right. I’m disappointed the day came to an early end, but feel good about the team and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow.”

Team Principal Tony Fernandes made his first visit to the Jerez test to see the Lotus Racing team in action and left feeling very positive: “Still a great day in many ways. You get the highs and the lows and you get the reality but overall I’m happy. The team is very motivated, there’s a lot of good morale and, while it’s unfortunate Heikki went off, these things happen. Something else I’m very pleased with is the reaction from the public to Lotus Racing. We’re going out there to tell the world what we’re up to and, judging by the phenomenal Twitter response we have had, we have already made an impact on the fans.”

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Postby Ed » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:36 pm

LOTUS RACING DAY THREE JEREZ TEST

Finally the sun returned to Jerez after a torrential downpour last night left the local roads strewn with rocks, and the journey in and out of the circuit tricky for many. Heikki Kovalainen resumed driving duties, for the first time running the Lotus Cosworth T127 on slick tyres, and by the end of the day had completed 68 laps.

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer, gave his thoughts on the first dry day’s testing, saying: “A reasonably good day today and the best thing was getting our first dry running in. We had a small problem this morning with a clutch sensor but as we wanted to wait until conditions had dried up that suited us well. We concentrated on long runs and started to work with the two tyre types, which we obviously haven’t been able to do before, so overall good progress.”

Italy’s Jarno Trulli takes over tomorrow (Saturday) for the final day’s testing before the team decamps to Barcelona for the final F1 test before the season starts in earnest in Bahrain.

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Postby Ed » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:12 pm

LOTUS RACING DAY FOUR JEREZ TEST

The sun shone early on in Jerez as Italy’s Jarno Trulli made his Lotus Racing debut, leaving the garage at precisely 9am to begin his day behind the wheel. Aiming to complete 140 laps in total, Jarno finally pitted at 4.40 pm having run all day and actually completing 141 laps.

After adjusting quickly to his new office, Jarno set to work and by the time he had completed his targeted number of laps he said, “It was a very positive day. I’m really happy about my first day testing with Lotus Racing and I was very lucky to have everything right on the car today with no major issues. We were able to put a lot of mileage on the car and get a lot of information out of it. I had the chance to start developing a real feel for the car and it’s good to be here.”

Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer summed up the final day in Jerez, and the total four days in Spain, saying: “An excellent day today, concentrating on reliability and race pace. 141 laps from Jarno is a great effort when you consider it’s his first day driving this year and also a great effort from the team who worked all night to get the car prepared. Overall it’s been a very encouraging four days. The main aim of the test was reliability and over the last two days of dry running we have found some directions in set up that will enable us to concentrate on the pace of the car in Barcelona.”

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Postby Ed » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:49 am

Barcelona, Spain – Thursday 25th February 2010

LOTUS RACING DAY ONE BARCELONA TEST

76 more laps for Fairuz Fauzy on the first day of the Barcelona test marks another satisfactory day for Lotus Racing. In dry, sunny conditions the team completed all its objectives for the day and are now looking forward to seeing Jarno Trulli take over driving duties tomorrow and Saturday.

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne gave his thoughts on the day’s on track action, saying “It was a very productive day - 76 laps with no mechanical worries on the car. In the morning we conducted some engine LAMDA running which we completed successfully. We ran through a series of system set up checks, completed our first starts and evaluated a number of other control systems on the car, as well as monitoring temperatures and pressures throughout the car.

“All in all this was a successful day both on the track and we ticked off a lot of behind the scenes tasks ahead of the first race. Fairuz did a very good job today, with no mistakes, and we were able to complete our whole program.”

Jarno Trulli takes over tomorrow with more dry running ahead of the Lotus Racing team

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Postby Ed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:56 am

Barcelona, Spain – Friday 26th February 2010

LOTUS RACING BARCELONA TEST DAY TWO

A productive day for Lotus Racing as Jarno Trulli took the Lotus Cosworth T127 challenger onto the Barcelona track and completed another 70 laps. With strong sunshine and dry weather conditions, the Lotus Racing team were again first out on track and ready to begin testing, developing and improving the car.

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne gave his end of day round up; “It was a productive day in terms of set up direction with Jarno. We were able to identify some problems with the set up in the car and establish clear direction to improve it. We still have a long way to go, and a lot of time to come from the car.

“ We had a couple of minor hydraulics issues which stopped the car on track, but nothing major, so all in all it was a productive day and we’re aiming to continue in the same vein tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli again picks up the wheel for day three of testing, and the team is looking forward to developing and progressing the car. Heikki Kovalainen then takes over on Sunday, for the final day of testing.

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Postby Ed » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:13 am

DAY THREE OF BARCELONA TESTING

The morning sunshine gave way to grey conditions and light rain in Barcelona as the Lotus Racing T127 completed a successful third day of testing. By lunchtime Jarno Trulli had already completed 60 laps, and went on consistently throughout the day to finish on a total of 102 laps. The team completed a full race distance and were satisfied with the timings and quality of the day’s activity.

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, commented “Another productive day with Jarno; over a hundred laps completed with no real mechanical issues and Jarno was able to complete the full race distance in the mix of wet and dry weather.

“We successfully completed our whole programme with the changeable conditions and have had two very useful days with Jarno in the car, with a very clear set up direction from him. Now we’re looking forward to further refining the balance of the car with Heikki tomorrow.”

Heikki takes the hot seat for the final day’s testing before the season starts in earnest in Bahrain.

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Postby Ed » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:41 am

DAY FOUR OF BARCELONA TESTING

Hot weather in Barcelona provided the backdrop for the final day of testing on track for the Lotus Racing team before the 2010 Formula 1™ season kicks off in earnest. Heikki Kovalainen took the Lotus Cosworth T127 for its final session as the test season drew to a close and completed a total of 65 laps in the five month old challenger. After some developmental mechanical and weight balance changes, the team were happy to see yet more improvement in the car’s reliability and pace.

Chief Technical Officer, Mike Gascoyne remarked "It was a game of two halves as they say; we had a good morning where we were able to complete all our plans but a problem with the programme change on the gearbox delayed us in the afternoon, which meant we weren't able to do as much running as we wanted. Overall, however, the test has been extremely productive - in general we've had very good reliability, and the team is in very good shape going to the first race.

"Considering the length of time we've had to work on the project it's a fantastic effort from the whole team. Everyone has worked exceptionally hard over the two tests and we now have to work on the pace of the car and improve that, but it's been a tremendous effort from the whole team and I'm very proud of them."

The test has confirmed Lotus Racing’s belief that they have a reliable car, ready for its debut in Bahrain. Consistency and completion of races are the key goals for the first few Grand Prix, until further aero developments - scheduled for the Barcelona GP - allow the team to begin to flex their muscles and really utilise their experience and talents in the season ahead.

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Postby Ed » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:00 am

CNN MAKES ITS FORMULA ONE ™ DEBUT WITH LOTUS RACING

Lotus Racing and CNN International have today announced a partnership deal that sees the newest Formula One™ team entering into a long-term agreement with the world’s leading news network. CNN’s world famous logos will feature on the T127 race cars, the drivers’ overalls and on all team clothing.

The deal will be managed by CNN’s commercial ‘Partner Solutions Group’ and is led by Rani Raad, senior vice president CNN International Advertising Sales.

“The combination of two such iconic and aspirational global brands fits perfectly with CNN International’s worldwide reach and brand positioning,” said Raad. “This unique partnership with Lotus Racing takes CNN International into a new era of marketing and promotions and puts us in front of a worldwide audience of millions.”

A delighted Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes commented: “We are very proud to welcome CNN into the Lotus Racing family. It is a sign of the positive impact we have already made in the global business market that such a prestigious brand, familiar to millions around the world as the definitive source of news and current affairs, has made the decision to partner with us. The whole team and I are looking forward to working with CNN in the months and years to come on some very exciting campaigns.”

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Postby Ed » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:12 am

AN HISTORIC DAY FOR LOTUS RACING

Friday at the Bahrain Grand Prix marked an historic day for Lotus Racing, exactly six months to the day since the team's entry into the 2010 Formula One™ World Championship was confirmed. Jarno Trulli was first car on track as the pit lane lights turned green, followed closely by Heikki Kovalainen as the team saw their incredible efforts since September 12th 2009 come to fruition in the desert heat.

The morning session saw the team complete 36 laps in total, with both Heikki (21 laps) and Jarno (15 laps) completing their planned programs and stepping out of their respective cars satisfied with their morning’s work. As track temperatures climbed to nearly 50° after lunch they both returned to work, Jarno notching up another 14 laps and Heikki 23 more and testing aero upgrades that had been fitted over the lunch break. Heikki’s best time of the afternoon session was 2.00.873 and Jarno 2.00.990.

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne gave his thoughts on the team’s first outing of the race season, saying “A good day for the team after a very long night preparing the cars for today. Everyone worked very hard and it was satisfying to see us first out on track and then put in a solid performance throughout the day. We tried an aero upgrade this afternoon and we’ll look at the results of that in this afternoon’s debrief, but now we’re looking forward to putting in another professional performance tomorrow in qualifying.”

Thoughts now turn to tomorrow’s qualifying session and the forthcoming race, with Team Principal Tony Fernandes arriving in Bahrain to add his support to the Lotus Racing team’s efforts on track.

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Postby Ed » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:47 am

Bahrain, 13th March 2010




LOTUS RACING BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING REPORT

Saturday in Bahrain saw Lotus Racing compete for the first time in qualifying with a host of famous faces dropping by and watching the action from the team’s pit and hospitality suite, among them former Lotus stars Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell. Qualifying itself was much as the team had anticipated, with Jarno Trulli finishing 20th on 1.59.852 and Heikki Kovalainen 21st on 2.00.313.

Both drivers gave their thoughts after the session, with Jarno saying: “All in all not too bad considering the amount of running we had this morning. We had some bad luck this weekend but the team has operated very well, in a very professional way, and we just need a bit more time to make the step forward we need in terms of performance. Tomorrow we need to try and finish the race, collect some useful data to find out more about what is right and wrong with the way the car behaves, and make that our main aim – finishing.”

Heikki Kovalainen added “Pretty much what we expected. The car was very reliable, which is good, and the performance was roughly where we knew we’d be. I’m reasonably happy – it probably isn’t the best qualifying lap I’ve ever done, and maybe I didn’t get everything out of it I should have done, but we have a good base to work from tomorrow. In practice yesterday the car felt like it would be good over long runs, and with the good reliability we have had we’ll see what happens tomorrow. The most important thing is to finish the race, and then we’ll see where we are.”

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer commented: “It’s a little bit mixed emotions today – we wanted to be the best of the new teams, and we just missed out on that by a fraction, but as the last of the new teams to have been given an entry, only six months ago, it’s a fantastic effort by the whole team to have finished our first qualifying session. We now look forward to the race and with the strength of our reliability, and two very experienced race drivers, now it’s all about finishing.”

Having arrived yesterday, Team Principal Tony Fernandes was at the track and was very proud to see the incredible efforts of everyone in the team over the last six months finally taking shape, saying “I’m happy, very very happy. It was fantastic to see Lotus back on the grid after a 16 year absence, and with the potential for so many things to have gone wrong, it’s just great to have finished our first qualifying session. Jarno broke the two minute mark and that’s a great achievement in itself.”

Giving his thoughts on the motor racing giants that came by the Lotus Racing garage, he added “It was great to see Emerson, Mario and Nigel today. It shows we have credibility and it’s a great endorsement from these legends that they see what we’re doing and, in whatever way, want to be a part of it. The dream continues and long may it last!”

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Postby Ed » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:30 pm

Bahrain, 14th March 2010

A DREAM START FOR LOTUS RACING IN BAHRAIN

Six months of very hard work finally came to as successful a conclusion as the team could have hoped for on Sunday afternoon in Bahrain, with both Lotus Racing cars finishing the race, Heikki in 15th and Jarno in 17th (provisional positions) in the opening round of the 2010 Formula One™ World Championship.

Jarno Trulli (Lotus Racing chassis T127/3) “I made a good start and avoided the accident at the second corner but found myself in the gravel so at this stage I was nearly last, but then I started picking up pace and catching the people in front. The car was understeering quite a lot and I couldn’t really predict the balance so at the pitstop the team, who did a really good job, changed the front wing setting and I started pushing again and putting in some good laps. At the end of the race I had a hydraulic problem so I just had to get it to the end of the race. I’m really happy and proud for the team because in six months every single target we have fixed we have met so it’s really good, and, as Tony said, one day Lotus will win and I hope to be here when we do.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Racing chassis T127/1) “It was a good race for our team - to get both cars to the finish is a great achievement. My car didn’t have a single problem, I know Jarno did and managed to nurse his car to the end, but the primary goal was to get both cars to the end and we achieved that. So far the team has reached every goal we set ourselves so that is fantastic. In terms of my race, I had a good start and was battling with a lot of guys we didn’t think we’d be fighting with. My tyres were fine, and the pitstop was good, but I lost a bit of time whilst letting cars past, and we’ll look at the strategy for Australia to work around that better. I really enjoyed driving the car, it felt really good and it was good to push. Everybody in the team should be really happy but now the honeymoon is over and we need to start working on better results.”

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne said “I’m very very proud of the whole team. Everyone here, and back in Hingham. Firstly I have to say thank you to both drivers. They drove great races – Jarno struggling early on but when he changed to the soft tyre he was much more competitive. Apologies to Heikki because he may have suffered from the strategy, and apologies to Jarno because he had a hydraulics problem and he had to slow down to get the car to the finish, but overall a great result.”

Happiest man of all was Team Principal Tony Fernandes who said “I’m completely over the moon! I cannot describe the feeling. Six months of work and to have both cars finish is just unbelievable. We’re thrilled, we’re happy and the spirit in the team is fantastic. I’m really proud of Jarno and of Heikki and everyone here. It’s a great start and better than I could have dreamt of. We wanted to finish the race and to do so ahead of established teams is fantastic.

“From here we keep going. Before the race Clive Chapman gave me Colin Chapman’s old Lotus cap and said ‘when you win the first race you’ll be the man to throw this up in the air like my Dad used to.’ That meant a lot to me, it was a wonderful gesture and it’s like handing over the mantle of one of motor racing’s great dynasties”

Visitors to the Lotus Racing garage before the race included FIA President Jean Todt and Michelle Yeoh, but the day began with Tony Fernandes giving the team a stirring speech to thank everyone for the hard work so far, and lay out the challenge ahead, saying “The last six months have shown that if you dream you can achieve, but now it’s not about being the best of the new teams, it’s about making a serious challenge for the very top.” With a start like this, who could blame him for pushing for something truly amazing.

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Postby Ed » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:13 pm

LOTUS RACING POST-BAHRAIN / PRE-MELBOURNE THOUGHTS: TONY FERNANDES

Lotus Racing arrived in Melbourne, Australia, set for round two of the 2010 Formula One™ World Championship. After exceeding expectations for a six month old team in Bahrain, with both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen’s cars being classified and being the only new team to see one of its cars past the finish line, attention now turns to Albert Park’s street circuit and the challenges that it presents. After such a great opening performance the atmosphere in the team is better than ever and the huge number of visitors dropping by to say congratulations in Melbourne, and the massive volume of fans giving fantastic feedback online, attests to the ever growing popularity of Lotus Racing from within the sport, amongst F1 fans, and in the growing number of general sports fans being attracted to such an open, honest team.

Kicking off with his thoughts on Bahrain and Australia is Tony Fernandes, Lotus Racing Team Principal, who will be flying in on Saturday night to join the team for the race on Sunday: “Australia is a special place for me – it’s where I spent my gap year when I was younger, where I did a lot of work in the music business, and learnt a huge amount about that industry, and where Air Asia X has a very strong stake. The whole weekend will be great, but Sunday will be a special day for me and the many Australian Lotus owners when we see the T127 on track and mixing it with the world’s best. After our great start in Bahrain we are continuing to stay realistic, and in Melbourne we are again aiming to finish and learn as much as we can in our ever deepening quest to get to the top. I can’t wait to get there!”


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