Autosport has posted the first image of the Lotus F1 car from a secret shakedown test at Silverstone.
F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen visits the home of Lotus Cars to meet the Lotus family and choose the scheme for his personalised Lotus Evora.
It was a real thrill for the Lotus workforce to see Lotus F1 Racing Driver Heikki as he was given a personal tour of the production facilities yesterday, and even more exciting for those few employees who got a rare chance to be driven by the F1 star as he tested the Lotus Evora on Lotus’ own test track for the first time.
During his day with Lotus Cars Heikki was given a special tour of the Classic Team Lotus workshops by Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman during which he chatted to Clive and Engineer Bob Dance about their first hand experience of some of the most successful and iconic F1 racing cars of all time. The tour was steeped in Lotus history and included some of the F1 cars that helped Lotus to achieve 79 GP wins, seven constructor’s titles and 6 drivers’ championships, including Emerson Fittipaldi’s Type 72.
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Group Lotus is very proud of its racing pedigree and we are all very excited to share our story with Heikki. It was our honour to welcome Heikki to Group Lotus and we wish him and the Lotus F1 Racing team every success for the 2010 F1 season.”
Dany Bahar continued, “We take great pride in the sports cars that we produce at Hethel and Heikki’s visit provided a great opportunity to show off the multi-award winning cars that we produce and the advanced niche production facilities at Hethel.”
Heikki was not on Lotus soil long before he was behind the wheel of the Lotus Evora trying it on for size on Lotus’ own test track and commented “The Evora was everything I expected, Lotus is famous for fantastic sports cars and the Evora did not disappoint. The power to weight ratio gives the car a real racecar feel and allowed me to really push the car round the track. I enjoyed every lap and had fun sliding it sideways!”
He went on to say, “The day has been great, I was really excited to see so many happy, motivated people and the support of the Lotus workforce is very much appreciated, I really got a sense of the passion the people have for the Lotus brand.”
Heikki concluded, “I’d really like to thank every one at Lotus for a great day, it was an honour to meet Clive Chapman and learn more abut his legendary father and to see Lotus’ classic F1 cars. I’m really keen to drive one of the JPS cars and maybe will be at Lotus again sometime soon to drive the Type 72!”
F1 driver Jarno Trulli straight from being announced as driver for Lotus F1 Racing in Malaysia made the trip to the home of Lotus at Hethel in England, visiting where Lotus history was made.
Jarno was also given a special tour of the Classic Team Lotus workshops by Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. During the visit to Classic Team Lotus Jarno viewed some of the most successful and iconic F1 racing cars of all time. The tour was steeped in Lotus heritage and included some of the F1 cars that helped Lotus to achieve 79 GP wins, seven constructor’s titles and 6 drivers’ championships, including, Emerson Fittipaldi’s Type 72, Graham Hill’s Type 49 and Jim Clark’s Type 25.
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “The family gets bigger with the arrival of Jarno. It was very special to host Jarno at Group Lotus, he is an exceptional driving talent and we wish him and Lotus F1 Racing every success for the 2010 F1 season.”
Dany Bahar continued, “We take great pride in the sports cars that we produce at Hethel and Jarno’s visit provided a great opportunity to show off the multi-award winning cars that we produce and the advanced niche production facilities at Hethel.”
Jarno had a fantastic time driving the Lotus Evora and visiting the home of the iconic Lotus marque, commenting, “Gino Rosato and I come from the same region of Italy, Abruzzo, we have been close friends for years and it was always a dream of ours to work together. Claudio Berro and Dany Bahar are also old friends and I honestly never thought that I would get the opportunity to work with these great people.”
He went on to say,” It was a great occasion and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the fantastic Classic Lotus F1 cars and new Lotus models. The facilities at Group Lotus are very impressive and I was amazed at the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into the production of Lotus cars. The Lotus Evora lived up to all my expectations of what a Lotus would be like to drive. It is clearly a very well engineered car that provides an exceptionally rewarding drive and I am looking forward to Lotus’ exciting future.”
[press release from Lotus]
The Norfolk-based Litespeed Formula 3 team has announced plans to enter the 2010 Formula 1 season under the iconic Team Lotus name. The founders of Litespeed, Nino Judge and Steve Kenchington are both former Lotus engineers, and have received permission from Lotus name rights-holder David Hunt to use the evocative title for their F1 bid. Former Team Lotus driver Johnny Herbert has joined the team as driver manager and commercial ambassador.
Design work on the chassis has already been started by Mike Gascoyne who welcomed the news that the project would use the Lotus title. “I am Norfolk born and bred,” said Gascoyne. “For me to continue my F1 career under the banner of the Team Lotus name and help to bring it back to its deserving place in the world championship is a fantastic feeling and something that I am extremely proud to be doing.”
The Times Online archive has released some fantastic articles about historic F1 races in the original format that they appeared in the newspaper. Click through to read the original news report of how Jim Clark won his second Formula 1 world championship with a dominating victory in the 1965 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Head to the Times Online archive for more historic F1 reports including Fangio at the Nurburgring, Jackie Stewart at Monza and Fittipaldi at Watkins Glen.
The World Motor Sport Council met in Paris on 17 March 2009 and decided that the 2009 Formula 1 Drivers World Championship will be awarded to the driver with the maximum wins irrespective of the points. In the case of a tie the points accrued over the year will be used as the tie breakers. Positions 2 onwards will be decided by points only.
The following is the official press release:
FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
A number of measures were agreed to help reduce costs and increase interest in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
2009 Formula One Regulations
The WMSC accepted the proposal from Formula One Management to award the drivers’ championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season. If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.
The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system. There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place. The Constructors’ Championship is unaffected.
The WMSC rejected the alternative proposal from the Formula One Teams’ Association to change the points awarded to drivers finishing in first, second and third place to 12, 9 and 7 points respectively.
Teams will be allowed to carry out three one day young driver training tests between the end of the last event of the Championship and 31 December of the same year. Drivers are eligible only if they have not competed in more than two F1 World Championship Events in the preceding 24 months or tested a Formula One car on more than four days in the same 24 month period.
Teams can also conduct eight one day aerodynamic tests carried out on FIA approved straight line or constant radius sites between 1 January 2009 and the end of the last Event of the 2009 Championship.
The FIA will publish the weights of all cars after qualifying at each Event.
For greater clarity for spectators and media, wet tyres have been renamed “intermediate” and extreme-weather tyres renamed “wet”.
On the first day of practice all drivers must be available for autograph signing in their designated team space in the pit lane.
All drivers eliminated in qualifying must make themselves available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session.
Any driver retiring before the end of the race must make himself available for media interviews after his return to the paddock.
All drivers who finish the race outside the top three must make themselves available immediately after the end of the race for media interviews.
During the race every team must make at least one senior spokesperson available for interviews by officially accredited TV crews.
A number of further amendments were adopted for the 2009 Technical Regulations. Full details will be available shortly on www.fia.com.
2010 Formula One Regulations
As an alternative to running under the existing rules, which are to remain stable until 2012, all teams will have the option to compete with cars built and operated within a stringent cost cap.
The cost cap is £30m (currently approximately €33 or $42m). This figure will cover all expenditure of any kind. Anything subsidised or supplied free will be deemed to have cost its full commercial value and rigorous auditing procedures will apply.
To enable these cars to compete with those from teams which are not subject to cost constraints, the cost-capped cars will be allowed greater technical freedom.
The principal technical freedoms allowed are as follows:
1. A more aerodynamically efficient (but standard) under body.
2. Movable wings.
3. An engine which is not subject to a rev limit or a development freeze.
The FIA has the right to adjust elements of these freedoms to ensure that the cost-capped cars have neither an advantage nor a disadvantage when compared to cars running to the existing rules.
The Honda Racing F1 Team requested to change its name to the Brawn GP Formula One Team. The WMSC accepted this request on the basis that the team is, in effect, a new entry in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
The contract the team had with the FIA was to run as ‘Honda’, which they are no longer in a position to do. However, the standard fee required for a new entry has been waived.