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Page last updated at 06:11 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 07:11 UK

Lotus target February car launch

Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne reveals Lotus' aims in Kuala Lumpur
Technical director Mike Gascoyne says Lotus are assessing their driving options

Lotus are confident their new car will be ready by mid-February ahead of the start of the 2010 Formula 1 season.

The Malaysian-funded team announced a scale model has been cleared to undergo wind tunnel testing in the near future.

Technical director Mike Gascoyne said Lotus's priority is for two cars on the grid at the start of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in March next year.

"There is no escaping the challenges we face to get the car ready for the first race of next season," said Gascoyne.

"But I am confident that we are up to the task.

"Our target is to get the car ready by the middle of February so that we can carry out pre-season testing for Bahrain in mid-March.

"We have been working with Fondtech to develop the aerodynamics, as well as with gearbox specialists Xtrac.

The new Lotus design for 2010
Preparations have intensified to get the new Lotus car ready for 2010

"We have an engine supply deal in place with Cosworth and we also have the support of engineering and composites teams in Malaysia who will play an integral role in developing the car."

Lotus are one of four new teams entering the competition next season alongside Campos GP, Manor and US F1.

Toyota driver Jarno Trulli and former Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson have been linked with a move to Lotus, although Gascoyne said the line-up would be revealed "in a month and a half".

He said: "We'll take the best drivers that are available. I think although we are a new team, several quite experienced drivers are quite interested in us."

We need reliable and technically-minded drivers who can help us develop the car during the season, but at the same time we need drivers who are hungry for results and who can extract every little bit of performance from the car at all times," he said.

Gascoyne also revealed a Malaysian driver remains a priority for the team.

"We'll have a Malaysian driver in the car when a Malaysian driver is capable of performing at the top of Formula 1," he added.


Lotus are the fourth most successful constructor of all time, despite not having competed in a F1 race since 1994.

But Gascoyne remains realistic about the Norfolk-based team's targets in their debut season.

"We are a new team and we are starting our development late, so it will be an achievement just to get two cars on the Bahrain grid," he said.

"I hope by the middle of the season we will have established ourselves as the best of the rookie teams and then continue to make forward progress for the rest of the year."

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see also
Lotus will return to F1 in 2010
15 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
BMW F1 team secures Swiss buyer
15 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Lotus name ready for return to F1
07 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Teams submit F1 entries for 2010
29 May 09 |  Formula 1
In pictures: Lotus F1 drivers
13 Nov 09 |  History
Interview: Jake Humphrey talks F1
16 Sep 09 |  TV and Radio

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