Tag Archives: F1 2010

Insider: Hurley can save USF1

An insider from the USF1 factory, who will remain anonymous, has said that a backer of USF1, Chad Hurley, has the best chance of saving the troubled team.

At the moment, the Charlotte squad are behind on their car development, lacking the funds to pay the bills, and have only one driver signed. This all points to bankruptcy and collapse.

Many people are looking to Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson to save the company. However, the insider, who can only be identified as a senior staff member, believes that Hurley is USF1’s best chance for survival:

"We feel Hurley and Parris Mullins [adviser to Hurley] have our best
interest [at heart] and also feel Hurley has no intention of
abandoning us even though the media has said he's gone with Campos.

"With all this talk about where US F1 is at, it's been missed that
there are 60+ people who have had to suffer through this for the
last two months. All of us left jobs and many of us travelled cross-
country for this opportunity.

"But having said that, throughout the turmoil, the team has really
come together and we're all committed to the project; precious few
have left in spite of the uncertainty of whether we'll be paid this
Friday. I've never seen such dedication. The US can field a F1 team,
in fact easily so after what I've seen."

However, it’s not as simple as that. The insider went on to explain, very strongly, about what went wrong at the base. He also blames Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor for certain failures of the team:

"All engineering decisions were having to be funneled through [Ken]
Anderson before anything could be signed off. And that's where the
hold up was."

"Tooling for the tub was completed in early December, but then it
sat for nearly a month before the laminate schedules for the outer
skin were approved."

"Now Anderson himself wasn't designing the laminate schedule, but
he was in the wings... as early as last October the production
manager was collared about the lack of resources, but the managers
were put off by saying: 'Well, Ken has a plan'."

"The irony of all this is that there has been precious little in the
way of formal planning and documentation. No production schedules,
simply very little in the way of planning."

"Our January 15 pay cheque was late. It was paid by the 20th or so,
but it certainly caused commotion and people started asking questions."

"That's when all the company's issues came to a head, and the
conclusion was... yes, we had been lied to about the long-term
budget, and indeed the company had a cash flow issue. But as
mentioned, that really was a secondary issue."

"Think of it this way, ignoring the fact that we were lied to about
the budget, if you don't have a car or can't show serious progress
in that direction, potential sponsors aren't going to have a tendency
to give you money."

"At the moment there are still 60 people working in Charlotte, but
10 have already left."

Then, he went on to talk about how the staff members felt about the project:

"In a meeting between the employees, Windsor and Anderson, Windsor
put the question up to the employees: 'Who here doesn't think we'll
make Bahrain?' I think Windsor might have meant it somewhat
rhetorically, but he was answered nonetheless, and 100 per cent of
the staff raised their hands. He was visibly shocked."

Ken Anderson was challenged about this employee’s interview. Very quickly, he described it as “twisted and one-sided”. Judging by his response, I’d say Anderson has dealt with disgruntled employees like this before.

Peter Windsor can say what he likes, but if 100% of his employees think they will fail to get to Bahrain, the writing is on the wall for the team. It’s been a disaster year for them, and we’re still 3 weeks away from Bahrain.


Ferrari rant attacks new teams

On their official website, Ferrari has attacked Max Mosley, the former FIA president, and the new teams entering Formula 1 this year.

Their statement is as follows:

Only less than three weeks to go until the ultimate form of motor
sport, the Formula 1 World Championship, gets underway, while
celebrating its sixtieth birthday this year. For many of the teams,
this coming week is a crucial one, as the bell rings to signal the
final lap, with the last test session getting underway in Barcelona.
It is one last chance to run the cars on track, to push reliability
to the limit and to try and find some performance. That’s the
situation for many teams but not for all of them. Of the thirteen
teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year’s
Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call,
turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have
managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but
at a much reduced pace. As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its
shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according
to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the
paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent
white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal.
However, the beneficiaries of this generosity might find the knight
in question expects them to fulfil the role of loyal vassal. All
this means, it is hard to imagine the Dallara designed car showing
its face at the Catalunya Circuit, with Sakhir a more likely venue
to witness the return of the Senna name to a Formula 1 session.

The thirteenth team, USF1, appears to have gone into hiding in
Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the
Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the
Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner,
according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again.
Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything
is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.

Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves
into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the
bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board,
around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now
hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of
the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining
armour whom we mentioned earlier.

This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president.
The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula
1. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the
championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible
hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as
for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons
to locate it. In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along
the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s
not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?

Another Ferrari rant, and it gets more vicious every single time. Ferrari are in no position to criticise every single team, person and organisation that isn’t an exact replica of them. When Max Mosley left the FIA, we all expected relations between the teams and the FIA to get better. But, the team that makes themselves appear like the “good guys” now come out lashing at Mosley. While the other teams are looking forward to the future, Ferrari just seem to be wallowing in the past, just to take cheap shots at their enemies.

Then, they take their anger out at Campos, calling their cash injection supplier a “munificent white knight”. It’s called a buyout. After this, they take a little shot at Jose Maria Lopez, initaially referring to him just as “the Argentinian”. Ferrari can’t slag off other drivers, only 6 months after they start throwing around their own just to get a few points which they didn’t get anyway.

And, as for calling Stefan GP “vultures”, they aren’t in a position to talk. We are talking about a team which sat behind the FIA for years, poking them into making moves to benefit themselves, and they now seem to think that Stefan GP waiting for a team to drop out (when everyone knows at least one will) is worse. Having said that, they are right about the employees hired “with a whiff of past scandals”. We are of course referring to Mike Coughlan, the McLaren engineer who stole Ferrari data from Rob Smedley, and (supposedly, never proved) tried to sell it on to Renault. The thing is though, why would Ferrari drop criminal proceedings against him, and then whinge years afterwards? But Coughlan did pay Ferrari €180,000 in settlements to drop the case, so it’s all right. Pathetic.

FIA developing solutions with USF1



It is understood that the FIA are in negotiations with USF1 as to keep the new team competing in the sport this year. Currently, the Charlotte squad are in huge trouble, with an unfinished car, only one driver confirmed (who is being linked to another team), and a general lack of funds.

At the moment, USF1 wishes to skip the first 4 races, to develop their car, but this would break the Concorde Agreement, so other alternatives are being considered. If USF1 fail to get the first 4 races off, it would seem that they would have to drop out, so the FIA are currently looking at their options. American channel Speed TV explained the 4 options the team may have:

  • Getting a finished car from a supplier like Dallara (who supplied Campos)
  • Merging with another team
  • Skip races to develop car, but then face FIA penalties
  • Withdraw from this year’s championship and reapply for 2010

At the moment, according to Nick Craw, President of the FIA Senate, he explained to Speed TV that USF1 have currently only asked for confirmation on the race-skipping rule. This rule says that 3 Grands Prix can be forfeited in exchange for penalties afterwards. It is unclear whether these would be financial or points penalties.

Petrov: Grosjean made huge mistake

Vitaly Petrov at Jerez testing last week

Vitaly Petrov at Jerez testing last week

Vitaly Petrov, the new Renault second driver alongside Robert Kubica, believes that Romain Grosjean should have bided his time, instead of jumping into Formula 1 halfway through the season.

Grosjean joined Renault after Hungary last year, when Nelson Piquet Jr was dropped after failing to score a point after 10 races. However, he struggled as much as Piquet, and failed to score a point either for the rest of the season.

Petrov spoke to Auto Hebdo, saying:

“Grosjean made a huge mistake by entering F1 mid-season.”

“There was much more to lose than to win, especially with a car that even Alonso failed to find any good in. One of the F1 teams asked me to step in mid-2009 but I refused and my father supported me; we must start when a season begins, not step in en route.”

When Petrov says he was offered a drive halfway through last year, he must mean either Renault or Toro Rosso (or Ferrari, but that’s highly unlikely). I must say I’m impressed by Vitaly’s maturity to wait until next year, when he might not have been able to get a drive.

USF1 asks to skip first 4 races



Team Principal Ken Anderson has revealed that his struggling USF1 team have asked the FIA to miss the first 4 races of the season.

In an interview with the New York Times, he said: “We’re working with the F.I.A. to clarify how many races we can miss. In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona.”

Has he even been reading the news? The FIA have just clarified that teams are not allowed to miss any races, since that would break the Concorde Agreement. And the way he goes on about an “ideal world” just annoys me. In an ideal world, we would have new F1 teams that were actually capable of getting to the grid, not whingeing and begging for more time as their only driver (and not the best one either) is being linked to another team.

Oh, and they would actually build a car, instead of doing stupic press conferences going on about how they are going to make in to Bahrain, when clearly they aren’t.

Carabante and Kolles take over Campos

Campos Grand Prix

Campos Grand Prix

Jose Ramon Carabante (left) and Adrian Campos

Jose Ramon Carabante (left) and Adrian Campos

It has been announced that Jose Ramon Carabante, a previous shareholder in the Campos team, has taken over from Adrian Campos. Colin Kolles takes over from Campos as team principal and managing director.

There are many rumours-probably true- that Jose Maria Lopez is now set to join Bruno Senna at Campos, as the USF1 bid in F1 appears to be on the verge of collapsing. Then, if USF1 fall, Stefan GP would have the way cleared for them to become the 13th team. It seems that everything is falling into place.

Colin Kolles is the former boss of Midland and Spyker, two F1 teams that completely failed after a year. He has also run operations in Jordan and Force India.  However, any F1 experience is good in a team that needs good structure in order to survive.

Carabante said: “I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who worked tremendously to support our efforts to keep the team viable. The whole rescue operation has been a race against time, with the goal having always been to run two competitive cars at the first Grand Prix of the F1 season in Bahrain.”

Kolles said: “I could not resist this tremendous challenge and am very excited to join forces in this new team. Over the next ten days we will review the entire operation, find the extra funding to ensure the team will make the first race in Bahrain, announce the line-up for 2010 in due time and make the operation viable under José Ramon Carabante’s new ownership.”

So it appears to be looking good for Campos. If Lopez (or someone else, there’s pleanty of other good pay drivers around) is announced soon, the team may well make the grid in Bahrain. Now if only they could make it to testing in time…

Stefan GP fires up car for first time

Zoran Stefanovich with Mike Coughlan

Zoran Stefanovich with Mike Coughlan

The Stefan GP team, who have yet to be placed on the entry list for this year’s world championship, have fired up their SF01 car for the first time.

The SF01 was actuallt designed by Toyota, which Stefan took over when Toyota dropped out of F1 last year.The engine start-up happened in Toyota’s old Cologne factory, which Stefan GP now uses, apart from two small exclusive areas.

Speaking to Autosport, Zoran Stefanovich says that everything is going according to plan, and the car will be ready for its initial test in Portimao later this month. However, they are still working on a tyre supply deal for this test. In a radio interview, he said:

“This morning, 19 February 2010, was another stepping stone for Stefan Grand Prix. This morning at 8:00, the first car – Stefan 01 – was fired up for the first time.”

“The car ran faultlessly, there was no problem whatsoever, and we could race or test on a racetrack, but we’re just waiting for tyres.”

At the moment, the Stefan GP team is compiled of 60 people, plus the former workers of Toyota, because of the two teams’ collaboration deal.

However, even if the test runs smoothly, Stefan GP still do not have a place on the entry list for 2010. It is believed that the team will only get a place if Campos or USF1 drops out, which seems likely. Stefanovich stated that he is expexting news from the FIA soon:

“We are expecting it to be clarified relatively shortly because all of us know what the situation is. In the meantime we are working very heavily on sorting out the drivers’ contracts.”

I mentioned last month that one of the drivers would be Kazuki Nakajima, and I was right, with Stefanovich confirming this today. Also, he revealed that the team are in negotiations with former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve.

“At the moment we have to say that we are very near. We are very near to a contract with Jacques Villeneuve, and probably also with another driver as our reserve driver. But the first one which will be with us is Kazuki Nakajima.”

I’ll be honest, I really don’t trust this team. First of all, Bernie Ecclestone has been in talks with the Serbian Prime Minister regarding Stefan GP, and when Bernie gets involved, the results rarely go well. Then, of all the engineers Zoran could have got, he went for Mike Coughlan. I hope you remember him as the McLaren engineer who stole information from Ferrari in 2007, and then went straight to Honda (with Nigel Stepney) for a job application. He allegedly attempted to sell the technical information on to other teams as well. I’ve never trusted him since, and I won’t trust any team around him.

Even if Campos or USF1 do drop out, the FIA don’t hand out places on the grid that quickly. Hopefully we can wait until 2011 and see more about this team.

Hydraulics problems for Virgin team

Timo Glock in the Virgin VR-01 today in Jerez

Timo Glock in the Virgin VR-01 today in Jerez

Today the Virgin team managed only 10 laps in Jerez, which is no improvement over last week’s disaster, also at Jerez. Today, it was revealed that the team were absent for most of the afternoon because they were attempting to fix a hydraulic problem.

The team believed that they had finally evaded the wet weather that had dogged them last week, before they spent the afternoon today in diagnostic mode. This is where the car undergoes a series of out-laps, then returns to the pits. Each time, a different hydraulic setup is used, to try and fix the problem. This also explains why Timo Glock made so many installation laps before entering the pits today. As a result of all this diagnostic work, the team was only able to complete 10 laps of the Jerez circuit today.

Technical director Nick Wirth said:

“We have experienced a sequence of hydraulic problems which were tricky to diagnose on a new car. This caused us to suffer long and frustrating periods confined to the garage and when we did venture out on track it was purely to conduct a series of exploratory out-laps to try to understand if we had cured the problem. We eventually discovered the real issue, albeit rather late in the day. ”

“Nonetheless, having fully identified the problem, we can fix it tonight and look forward to what we hope will be a more constructive day of running for Timo (Glock) and the team tomorrow.”

Here’s the thing: how much longer can things go wrong for Virgin? Glock and di Grassi must be sick of so many precious testing days wasted because of faults with the car. The changing weather is unavoidable, but this and last week’s front wing failure is hugely damaging to the team’s preparations for Bahrain.

What we can learn from Jerez test 1

The first of 2 Jerez test sessions ended last Saturday, with the heavy rain having hugely affected the running for all the teams. Until the second test begins on Wednesday, there are many things we can learn from last week.

First of all, some teams who struggled in 2009 have certainly learned from their mistakes and improved hugely. Ferrari and Sauber are the two teams which spring to mind here. We all remember the fact that Alonso and Massa completely dominated the top of the timesheets in Valencia a few weeks ago. While we haven’t seen fastest laps from the team this time around, it must be noted that both drivers appeared to be running very heavy fuel load setups. The fact that they finished 4th and 7th (twice each) with this fuel load shows that they have serious pace this year. The news gets even better for the Scuderia, as we must remember that wet weather makes it even harder on a heavy fuel load, which adds to their achievements so far this year.

More consistent running from Ferrati in this test session

More consistent running from Ferrati in this test session

Sauber have topped only one session so far, but it is believed that they are running medium to heavy fuel setups as well. Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi have so far been impressive in all but one of the test days last week, when they were caught out by the wet weather. However, it must be noted that Kobayashi’s fastest lap on Tuesday was set on a low-fuel run.

Another team that I haven’t mentioned yet is Force India. The team that got so close to points on so many occasions, to the team that finally scored its maiden podium after Fisi’s heroics, to a team that is now showing very promising pace before the season even starts. It’s much different to last year, when the VJM02 was only fast on low-downforce circuits. Jerez requires a very good medium-high downforce setup, and the team have so far finshed 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th respectively. Adrian Sutil appears to be getting more out of the car than Liuzzi, but we’re not sure what fuel loads they were running. However, it is believed that they were using a medium fuel load for most of the time. One problem is, there seems to be a huge loss in performance when full fuel is applied. Sutil, on one occasion, had his lap times increased by 4 seconds per lap, after adding a 100kg (half race) fuel load. The team and Sutil have said that 5th place in the constructors championship is a realistic ambition this year, and I believe them. Hopefully, we won’t see a huge variant in performance in the car according to the circuit this year.

Sutil and Force India are aiming for 5th in the championship this year

Sutil and Force India are aiming for 5th in the championship this year

McLaren have been top of the timesheets once, when Lewis Hamilton set a low-fuel fastest lap of 1.19.583 (fastest of the 4 days) in the dying minutes of the final day. He was believed to be carrying 5 laps of fuel at the time. When he was filled up with fuel, he was languishing at the bottom of the timesheets most of the day. For example, at the start of a 25-lap stint, he was lapping in the 1.25’s. However, by the end of the stint, he was down to 1.23. It must be noted that this time was done on tyres that were 30 laps old, and in very cold temperatures, 6 degrees. (Hopefully) There will be no Grand Prix that will ever get near those sort of temperatures. We can therefore conclude that Lewis has solid pace in this year’s MP4-25. But what about Jenson? Unfortunately, no conclusions can be made about him, because of the conditions around his 2 days testing. On the first day, his fastest lap was 4 seconds off the pace, but that was a day of heavy rain, and he was running a heavy fuel load, so we can excuse him for that. The next day, he was much quicker, only .6 seconds off the fastest lap of the day. Even if it’s a bit inconclusive, I’d say that Jenson is doing fine in the car as well.

Jenson Button in the McLaren

Jenson Button in the McLaren

It’s been widely predicted that Mercedes will be on the pace this year. With the German line-up of Schumacher and Rosberg, it’s not hard to see why people are saying that. However, their pace isn’t convincing me yet. Sure, Rosberg topped the timesheets last Wednesday, but that was rain-soaked, and I don’t think he was running much fuel that day either. Since then, he and Schumacher have finished 6th, 7th and 5th respectively. Unfortunately, I can’t analyse their fuel loads, as I’m not sure on their figures. All I know is that they were not running very heavy fuel loads. Many people are saying that Schumacher set his fastest laps in the morning, when the track wasn’t rubbered in much, and this shows he has pace. I agree with this, but you have to note that it seemed like Schumacher was pushing like hell to get those times out. Spectators have noted that he was pushing the car too far slightly, which may add a pinch of salt. Even if I’m skeptical, Mercedes will definitely be in the top half  of the grid this year.

Michael Schumacher pushing it to the limit

Michael Schumacher pushing it to the limit

With teams like Renault and Williams, we can’t be sure. Both teams have all-new driver line-ups, so it may take time for them to get used to the cars, Petrov amd Hulkenberg especially. Unfortunately for Renault, Kubica’s fastest lap on Saturday was at the end of a 5-lap stint. The team were believed to have been running 6-lap stints all day long. The fact that they ended up 4th shows they don’t have the raw power to be at the top this year. Now, last December, the team said they wanted to be in contention for world championships by 2011, which is a bit of an ambitious target. However, if anyone will bring them up, it’ll be Kubica, so let’s see what happens there. Williams, on the other hand, are very hard to read this year. 10-lap stints are what Barrichello was doing all day, but we don’t know what Hulkenberg was running. The fact that he finished 3rd and 4th on the first 2 days is encouraging, though. Their engine, the Cosworth CA2010, seems to be good, with the speed traps showing good speed so far.

The team that finished on a high in Abu Dhabi knew they had to capitalise on their progress this year. Red Bull missed the first test in Valencia, and kept developing until Jerez. When their car was unveiled and first run, we saw very little pace. Mark Webber only finished 9th on both occasions, while Vettel was 5th and 6th. On the front, it would appear that they were struggling for pace. The good news is that Vettel’s fastest laps were set during a (at least) 20-lap stint. We’re not sure about Webber’s loads, but it seems he was running very heavy as well. Sebastian Vettel has spoke about these fuel loads already, saying:

“When you look at the lap times, you sometimes think it’s easy to say who is running on a lot of fuel or low fuel, but then people are playing around, so you might be three seconds off but still be quick when you are running with a full tank and others are not. It’s all a bit irritating – and very challenging. You might be seconds off the pace on Friday, but are really the fastest and you won’t know it until Saturday when you go to qualifying. We are heading into exciting times.”

Reliability has struck already, with a fuel pump problem sidelining them for 3 hours on Saturday, so they will need to control this before it hits hard, like in Valencia last year.

Three of the new teams, Campos, Lotus and USF1, have not even released their cars yet, so our attention is focused on Virgin. They were first out of the blocks with their VR-01, which was developed using only Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Their testing in Jerez, however, could be described as a disaster. On the first day, Timo Glock got only 5 laps in, after the heavy rain caught them out. Then, things got even worse on Thursday, when a front wing failure stopped Glock’s running after only 11 laps, which was on a heavy fuel load. His fastest lap was 10 seconds off Kobayashi’s that day. The team worked into the next day trying to repair the cause of the problem, the front wing mounting. When they finally got the car out on Friday, Lucas di Grassi could only set 8 laps, all in the wet, because of unspecified reasons. Since these 8 laps were in the wet, he was 17 seconds off the pace that day. Into Saturday, the car was much better, with di Grassi managing 63 laps all day. They were running a very heavy fuel load, so it was expected that he only ended up 8th at the end of the day, 2.5 seconds behind the leaders. If their initial pace was their actual performance, then they would count themselves lucky that the 107% rule was dropped years ago. However, I think that the Virgin has promise (no jokes!) and could be one of the better new teams this year.

Finally, we have Toro Rosso. We knew they would struggle last year, when Vettel left, and they couldn’t use the year-before Red Bull because of the rule changes. A poor 2009 was expected. However, now that they are producing their own car, we will soon be expecting more from them. Sebastien Buemi and Jamie Alguersuari have been retained for 2010, so it will be expected that these new (ish) drivers will improve over the season. This means that a lot of focus will be on their car. The STR5 has been very surprising so far, in that, across the 4 days, they have finished on top, twice 2 times, and 10th. The final day slump was believed to be heavy fuel running and aerodynamic comparisons, so we can now focus on the other 3 days. On the first day, Buemi was second, only 1 tenth behind Nico Rosberg. This was a rain-soaked day, but it still shows pace in the car. On Thursday, he was again second, this time only 0.07 behind Kamui Kobayashi. To make things better, Kobayashi’s fastest lap was a low-fuel run, and the weather soon turned dry over the day, so the STR5 was showing more and more signs of pace. On Friday, Jaime Alguersuari got in one of the fastest laps of the entire 4-day test, a 1.19.919, which was set in the morning. Even though rain fell soon after, I don’t think many drivers would have beaten his time. So, the first signs are very encouraging for Toro Rosso, but let’s be careful. We don’t know about what fuel they were running on those 3 days. However, I think it’s safe to say that they will improve upon last year.

It’s not right to make full assumptions about all the teams before the testing finishes, so now let’s look forward to the second test in Jerez. Hopefully the predicted floods and heavy rain will refrain this time.

New Lotus T127 launched

The new Lotus T127

The new Lotus T127

The Lotus T127 has been launched in London today.

As I reported a few days ago, the team are to use the same livery that they used in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is green, with yellow stripes.

The last time Lotus raced in Formula 1 was in 1994. The team is now owned by Air Asia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes.

At the launch, Fernandes said:

“Words cannot express how I feel today. It is an amazing job to get an F1 licence, have five people in Hingham and turn up today with this car.”

“I was thrilled when Clive [Chapman] said that this was just like te beginning of Lotus back in the early days.”

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen are to be the team’s drivers for 2010. They will join the other teams in Jerez testing next week. The car has already been shaken down, in Silverstone last week. The engne firing-up was completed a few days beforehand.

Clearly, the Lotus name puts a lot of pressure on Fernandes. Speaking at the launch, he said:

“We know we have a huge burden on our shoulers, standing on the shoulder of giants – Clark, Moss, Hill, and Mansell. We know we have a tremendous journey in front of us, we are honoured and cherished to be a part of history – we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts and we will do our best to return Lotus to its glory days.”

The livery looks great, as it really suits the car design. There are parts of the car that appear very well designed, like the hugely complicated front wing and endplate sections. The mid-section of the car looks good also. However, I’m slightly concerned at the simplicity of the rear wing and nose cone. The rear wing is incredibly plain and boxy, with no endplate add-on at the sides. The nose cone, while slightly similar to others in places, does not incorporate Red Bull’s horned nose design.

Having said that, the design doesn’t look bad, so I’m looking forward to their efforts in 2010.

Pictures from the launch: