On Friday, Lotus Racing will participate in first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, exactly six months to the day after securing entry into Formula 1.
Two cars and a 60-strong team have arrived in Bahrain as Lotus prepare for their F1 return with experienced drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Trulli is hopeful for a good start to the season, but is aware that it will not be easy. “It would be nice to score a point, but it is not going to be easy. We have to be realistic.”
Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne is pleased with the pre-season preparations, and is positive for the team’s prospects in the coming season. “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.”
Tony Fernandes, the team principal, is expecting a tough start to the season thanks to the lack of preparation time compared to their rivals, but targets quick improvements. “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.”