After 15 years, one of the most successful names in Formula One returns to the grid with the launch of the Lotus T127. Note that we said "name," not necessarily "team," since Lotus F1 Racing is not officially affiliated with Group Lotus, the carmaker and engineering firm. There is a somewhat tenuous relationship, since the team that began as Litespeed is largely backed by the Malaysian government, and Malaysian automaker Proton owns Lotus. The team actually acquired the rights to the Lotus name for F1 racing purposes from David Hunt, brother of the late world champion, James Hunt.
While the team is new, it's staffed by F1 vets, including technical director Mike Gascoyne and drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Lotus F1 Racing also operates out of the Racing Technology Norfolk (RTN) facility where the 2003 Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8 was developed and built.
There's an upside to the relative lack of major sponsors for the reborn Lotus racing team: the car is liveried in the traditional green and yellow colors used up until the late 1960s. Just as those late-'60s Lotus Type 49s introduced the Cosworth DFV to F1, the T127 will be one of several cars using the latest Cosworth V8 this year. Hopefully, things work out better than the last time we saw Lotus on the track. Fans can follow the team at its new website, http://www.lotusracing.my. There's a video of the T127's first shakedown run at Silverstone after the jump.
[Source: Lotus F1 Racing]
12 February 2010
Lotus Racing today unveiled its 2010 challenger, the Lotus Cosworth T127, at a glittering event in London's Royal Horticultural Hall. Team Principal Tony Fernandes was joined on stage by Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and drivers Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen and Fairuz Fauzy to take the wraps off the car in front of a 500 strong live audience.
As the lights came up the car's stunning green and yellow livery was seen for the first time, striking an emotional chord with both young and old alike and evoking memories of some of motor racing's most iconic moments in an entirely contemporary fashion.
Tony Fernandes gave his thoughts on the astonishing achievement the Lotus Racing team has accomplished in launching the car just five short months since the team was granted its entry to the FIA Formula One World Championships, saying: "I am extremely proud to be here today and to be able to show the world the fruits of the team's hard work over the last five months. It's humbling for me and my fellow shareholders, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin to see how a team that five months ago didn't even exist is now a thriving workforce, full of enthusiasm and passion for Lotus Racing and the challenges ahead and capable of producing such a beautiful machine in such a short time. "Now we've achieved two major milestones; confirming our entry and unveiling our car, but now the real work starts. Next we move on to testing and the season ahead and I'm confident that the team will exceed expectations wherever we go, and will do so on a wave of support around the world that has been growing daily since we first unleashed Lotus Racing back in September '09."
Mike Gascoyne added his thoughts, saying "The last few months have been some of the most challenging of my career, but it's been a challenge the whole team and I have thrived on since we first started work on the car up in Norfolk. I'm delighted that we've reached this point, and now we have a beautiful car that gives us a great base to work from for the season ahead and a fighting chance of going racing in the right way, with a winning mentality. The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead."
The Lotus Racing T127 is powered by Cosworth and will use an Xtrac gearbox and, in line with all 2010 teams, will be running on Bridgestone tyres.