Archive for the ‘Lotus Drivers’ Category

Jean Alesi on Kimi Rakkonen and the 2011 F1 season

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Jean Alesi talks to Group Lotus about the 2011 F1 season and the news that 2007 F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen will be driving for Lotus Renault GP in 2012

Jean, are you excited about the news that Kimi Raikkonen is returning to F1 next year with Lotus Renault GP?

It’s fantastic news. Kimi has more natural speed than just about anyone who has ever raced a Grand Prix car, and if he’s coming back it’s because he wants to do it, he misses F1, and he believes he can do well. He has had a short break, which was a little bit forced by Ferrari. I think he was fed up with the system and wanted to take time out, which I can totally understand. But now he’s coming back, with Lotus, so it’s really exciting.

Kimi’s speed was never in question, but there were concerns he failed to develop the car as Michael Schumacher had done before him. Is that a concern for you now?

Michael was brilliant at that, but it isn’t working for him now at Mercedes and I think this is a reflection of how F1 has developed in recent years and re-prioritized. Now you just need to focus on having a quick driver, someone who does the job. The great thing with Kimi is he extracts the maximum from a quick car. When the car was good at McLaren and Ferrari he was always winning. LRGP will expect him to extract the maximum from the Lotus as well.

It’s sure to fire up the workforce at Enstone, isn’t it, having a world champion in the car?

F1 teams need a driver who will consistently set lap times that are 100 percent on the edge. That is what a driver of Kimi’s caliber can do, to dance on the edge and never fall off. From that, the engineers get a baseline. They understand the true speed of their car and can make changes accordingly. It eradicates any doubt. I expect Kimi will be a very valuable tool indeed. But I don’t expect a lot of talking outside the car! I’m sure he hasn’t changed a bit.

Let’s talk about the Sao Paulo race. Bruno Senna was given a drive-thru penalty after he came together with Michael Schumacher. Did you think that was unfair?

Definitely, yes. It was a 50/50 accident, so why penalize one of them? Both cars were compromised – Bruno with a broken front wing and Michael with a rear puncture. To then penalize one of the drivers in this situation kills the spirit of racing. The stewards should have let it go.

Vitaly Petrov started the year on a high with his podium in Australia and finished the season tenth in the Drivers’ World Championship. How well do you think he did?

He’s been very competitive when the car is quick, and it’s been more difficult for him in the second half of the season. He did a fantastic first grand prix but he seems to suffer more when the car is not perfect.

Lotus Renault GP started the year on the podium but struggled towards the end. Did the designers take a few wrong turns?

The R31 was extremely aggressive in terms of design. At the start of the season, Red Bull’s designer Adrian Newey said that the most creative car out there was the Lotus Renault GP. When the best designer in the world says that, it means a lot, and at the start of the year LRGP were brilliant. Then the exhaust-blowing rules changed, and that hurt the team a lot. We were penalized more heavily than any other team. To finish fifth in the championship is superb.

How did you rate the F1 World Championship 2011 generally?

Even though Red Bull Racing was dominant throughout, I thought it was a very interesting season and I enjoyed the races very much. Out of those 19 races, only three or four were a bit boring; I was on the edge of my seat for the rest. We’ve seen lots of overtaking, lots of incidents, and there was tough competition out there, particularly between McLaren and Ferrari. Lotus Renault GP were very competitive at the start of the season as well, so overall I really enjoyed it.

Which race stood out for you?

My shoes are still drying after the Canadian Grand Prix, so that was memorable not least for the incredible race we saw. I could have done without the two-hour red flag delay in the middle, but that race was really exciting and it’s always great to see a change of the lead on the last lap.

Sebastian Vettel was the class of the field, but who would you nominate as your Man Of The Year?

Apart from Vettel, who did an unbelievable job, the award should go to Jenson Button. I was not surprised by his performance, because he’s been a world champion, but the way he managed to be there all the time, even when he was struggling with set-up, and still get good points was impressive. He also pulled some great overtaking moves, so he was aggressive when he needed to be and smooth when he needed to be, adapting to the Pirelli tyres quicker than most. What a mature performance, and all the more impressive when your team-mate is Lewis Hamilton and Jenson is still, essentially, the new boy. I believe 2011 was even more impressive than his championship-winning year, given that he didn’t have the best car and his team-mate was Hamilton

Q&A with Asif Kapadia, Director of Senna

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Several GGLC members attended the special SFF1 pre-release screening of the Senna documentary with director Asif Kapadia last night. We have been hearing rave reviews of the movie for several months now and have to say that the movie meets and actually exceeds the hype. The film makers have done a masterful job keeping the flow of a movie and building suspense even though we all know how the story ends.

After the movie Asif was kind enough to stay back and answer questions about the movie and the following video shows the session in its entirety. Some highlights include the process of shooting a movie with only archival footage, getting access to Bernies archive, showing the movie to the Senna family, extended footage in the DVD/Blu-Ray, writing the music before making the movie, etc…

A huge thanks to Asif for spending his valuable time with us and giving us this insight into the genius of Senna. He will also be appearing in person on 8/19 at the 7:30pm and 10:00pm shows at the Landmark Embarcadero theater, and on 8/20 at the San Rafael Film Center. We highly recommend that you attend those showings for a chance to discuss the movie in person. For more info on the Senna movie please visit: http://sennamovie.com/

Senna pre-release screening with director Asif Kapadia

Friday, August 5th, 2011

By special arrangement with F1 in America and The San Francisco Formula 1 Group, ‘SENNA’ will be shown Thursday, August 18th, ahead of general release in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Director Asif Kapadia has graciously arranged to make time to attend this special San Francisco screening to discuss the film for a truly one-of-a-kind evening with you – all interested in the film and it’s legendary subject are welcome to attend.

Over 15,000 hours of archive footage were considered by Kapadia for a work of film that critics, F1 fans, non-race fans and especially the Senna family love. The film has been moving moviegoers around the world since it opened last October, and hit the ground running in the United States earlier this year taking the 2011 World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at Sundance.

This event is happening with the support of friends and the greater car club/racing community, and members of the Brazilian community are particularly encouraged to attend. This showing will not be advertised, so please spread the word around your favorite forums and boards about this special night. Movie posters will be available at the screening, while supplies last.

We cannot thank everyone’s support enough for making this very special evening possible for all fans of racing and the film’s hero, Ayrton Senna.

Asif Kapadia, Director:
BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia is known for his visually striking films. He has an interest in exploring the lives of ‘outsiders’: characters living in timeless, extreme and unforgiving circumstances or landscapes. His films have been awarded and distributed internationally and show how versatile and expressive British cinema can be. Visit http://sennamovie.com/ for a complete bio.

Click here for tickets to this special San Francisco only advance screening with Director, Asif Kapadia.

SENNA opens in Berkeley and San Francisco August 19th, and Palo Alto on August 26th. Visit http://bit.ly/sfsenna for upcoming SF screenings, and http://on.fb.me/p88l4j for more on Palo Alto screening events.

Official Senna movie website (reviews, theaters, trailer)

Dario Franchiti drives the Lotus 38

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Road and Track magazine recently invited Dario Franchiti to drive a few laps of the brickyard in Jim Clarks winning Lotus 38.

Heikki Kovalainen drives Classic Lotus F1 cars

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Elliot Moss drives a Lotus 18

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

It seems appropriate that on the day Elliot Moss, Stirling’s son, drives a Lotus 18 for the first time, courtesy of Classic Team Lotus, Stirling was winning the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix, the first Formula 1 win for Lotus, exactly 50 years ago. This was also the first time Elliot had ever driven a single seater let alone a race car on a race track, so the timing and type of car driven was very fitting.

The reason for Elliot driving is to demonstrate the Lotus 18 at the Classic Team Lotus Festival on 20th June 2010 at the Snetterton Race Circuit, along with 33 Formula 1 cars from the Lotus’s Formula 1 history. The festival will also feature the newest Lotus Formula 1 car on track, the T127, and its drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.

As Stirling is still recovering from the injuries he sustained from his accident back in March, Elliot will drive the Lotus 18 in a demonstration run, alongside a other Lotus Formula 1 cars around the Snetterton track. Stirling’s son did not follow his fathers professional career path, he is a trained chef and now run’s the family’s property business with his wife Helen who was present at Hethel to witness a little bit of Lotus and Moss history being made.

[via stirlingmoss.com]

Tyler McQuarrie Pole-Setting Lap from Long Beach

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

As we posted a few days ago, Tyler McQuarrie qualified on pole and won the GTS class at the SCCA World Challenge Event at Long Beach. He has just posted this video of his qualifying lap online – enjoy!

Tyler McQuarrie Qualifying Lotus for World Challenge from tyler@tylermcquarrie.com on Vimeo.

Eighteen F1 World Champions

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Eighteen of the living F1 World Champions attended the 2010 F1 Championship opener this weekend. The only missing ones being Kimi Raikkonen and Nelson Piquet. See how many you can recognize in this picture

17 formula 1 world Champions

Back row: Fernando Alonso (2005, 2006); Sir Jack Brabham (1959, 1960, 1966); Michael Schumacher (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004); Emerson Fittipaldi (1972, 1974); Lewis Hamilton (2008); Mika Hakkinen (1998, 1999); Damon Hill (1996).
Middle row: Niki Lauda (1975, 1977, 1984); Keke Rosberg (1982); Mario Andretti (1978); Sir Jackie Stewart (1969, 1971, 1973); Alain Prost (1985, 1986, 1989, 1993); Jacques Villeneuve (1997); John Surtees (1964).
Front row: Alan Jones (1980); Nigel Mansell (1992); His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bernie Ecclestone, Jody Scheckter (1979); Jenson Button (2009).

UPDATE: F1 Fanatic just posted a much nicer official photograph
18 F1 world champions bahrain 2010
Back: Alain Prost, Alan Jones, Nigel Mansell, Mika Hakkinen, Jacques Villeneuve, Keke Rosberg, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill.
Front: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Niki Lauda, Bernie Ecclestone, Mario Andretti, Jeat Todt, Michelle Yeoh, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Emerson Fittipaldi, Lewis Hamilton

[via Joe Saward]

Perkele

Friday, February 19th, 2010

MTV Advert for the upcoming F1 season with Heikki Kovaleinen:

Perkele refers to Satan and is a common swearword in Finnish.

Heikki Kovalainen visits Lotus

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Kovaleinen

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!”