18 February, 2010

Lotus F1 revives Malaysian F1 Dreams.

It looks set now that Malaysians can once again be proud to be associated to the FIA F1. Not too long ago we had a shot in the form of Alex Yong but with some problems obtaining sponsorship the exit was done quietly.

Now the think tank of Air Asia Tony Fernandes and our own young blood race driver Fairuz Fauzy of the Mofaz empire, we Malaysians can be proud watching the race on weekends. So what if Fairuz is just a test driver, many top F1 drivers started as test drivers for F1 development teams before graduating into the race proper teams.

However I am very much puzzled by Petronas who opted to sponsor Mercedes instead of Lotus. Lotus is Proton owned thus makes perfect sense to support local interest. Anyway, after the first test run it all seems alright for a team that about 7 months back was just a wet dream. Looks like when we Malaysians put our foot down to do something it pretty much happens.

Honestly I can't wait for the season proper to start. I dont really care if Lotus is at the bottom of the point rankings, but at least they can finish every single race in the 2010 season. That alone is a pretty awesome achievement.


Chauncey Gardener said...

Petronas chose Mercedes as they felt that they would get better brand exposure instead of Lotus.

Purely commercial decision.

Chauncey Gardener said...

Some food for thought.


Heikki Kovalainen has admitted that his new car, the Lotus T127, is worse than the Minardi he tested more than six years ago.

Minardi chief Paul Stoddart gave the then 22-year-old Finn a two-day test at Vallelunga in late 2003 and nearly signed him to race.

When asked by Finland's Turun Sanomat to compare the Minardi with the Lotus, fielded by the new Malaysian backed team in 2010, Kovalainen answered: "It's difficult because the tires are so different.

"But the Lotus is probably missing more aerodynamically than the Minardi cars (were) when you compare them with the top (cars)."

At the end of 2003, the Minardis were regularly 5 seconds off the pace of the leaders, while Kovalainen's teammate Jarno Trulli said last weekend that he thinks the T127 is about four seconds behind.

Kovalainen was nearly 5 seconds behind when the 2010 pre-season came to a close at Barcelona on Sunday.

But in 2010, there is more parity between teams in terms of engine and tire performance, meaning the differences in lap time is substantially due to the chassis.

Kovalainen, now 28, admitted that Lotus' "biggest problem" currently is aerodynamics.

To Turun Sanomat, he also rued his pre-season preparations, revealing that he has "never gone into a season with less testing".

Team boss Tony Fernandes thinks Lotus has progressed well this winter.

"We reckon we will be 3.5 seconds off the fastest car (in Bahrain), an improvement of 5 seconds from Jerez. We keep chipping away," he said.