The Litespeed-managed Lotus F1 Racing team has released two photos of a scale model of its first Formula 1 racer that’s currently being used for windtunnel testing. There is no name for the new car yet, but more details about the team were revealed in an interview with technical director Mike Gascoyne provided along with the press release.
According to Gascoyne, development has already been on-going for a few months before the team entry was confirmed in mid-September 2009. Gascoyne is currently in Malaysia interviewing potential employees for technical roles. They are also recruiting various other personnel in the fields of admin, marketing and PR. A full list was published as a full page ad in the papers recently.
The team will be based in the RTN facility in UK initially but as previously mentioned the ultimate goal is to have a full technical facility at the Sepang circuit. However, when that happens a small UK base will still be kept to give the team a logistical advantage when the team is racing in Europe.
Lotus F1 aims to get the car up and running for a roll-out by mid-February 2010 in prepration for the Bahrain race in mid-March. The car is currently being developed with a few technical partners including Fondtech for aerodynamics, Xtrac for transmissions, and Cosworth for engines. Malaysian companies are involved in certain areas including some aspects of engineering as well as composites (very likely to be Composites Technology Research Malaysia).
There are rumours currently afloat about Toyota’s Jarno Trulli joining the new team. Trulli will likely take the senior role and be complemented by a more junior driver, possibly a Malaysian. Everyone seems to be looking at Fairuz Fauzy right now.