Lotus F1 Racing heads to Bahrain

Lotus T127

By 3am on Saturday morning Lotus Racing had finally finished packing up the six airfreight boxes needed for the journey to Bahrain and the beginning of the 2010 Formula One™ season. Two cars and a 60-strong team have now made their way to the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Bahrain International Circuit for the first race of much anticipated 2010 season.

On 12th September 2009 Lotus Racing gained entry onto the grid. As the team gears up for the first Grand Prix, the whole team, including the drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, remain upbeat and honest about their expectations for the first few races. Trulli commented, “It would be nice to score a point, but it is not going to be easy. We have to be realistic.”

Chief Technical Officer, Mike Gascoyne said, “Our test season was extremely productive – in general we’ve had very good reliability, and the team is in very good shape going to the first race.”

Lotus Racing remain confident of their continuing progress. Team Principle Tony Fernandes commented, “We are all looking forward to Bahrain; to have Lotus Racing on the grid will be a momentous occasion for all involved and, indeed, for our fans, whose support has been absolutely fantastic since we launched just under six months ago. Yes we are a little slower than the major leading teams, however we will get there, with passion, hard work and a clear vision – our aim for this first Grand Prix will be to finish and steadily but surely improve, race by race.”

Lotus Racing will spend the week preparing in Bahrain and look forward to hitting the track in anger for the first practice session on Friday, exactly six months to the day after gaining their entry place into 2010 Formula One™ World Championship.

[press release from Lotus Racing]

CNN to sponsor Lotus Racing

CNNLotus Racing and CNN International have today announced a partnership deal that sees the newest Formula One™ team entering into a long-term agreement with the world’s leading news network. CNN’s world famous logos will feature on the T127 race cars, the drivers’ overalls and on all team clothing.

The deal will be managed by CNN’s commercial ‘Partner Solutions Group’ and is led by Rani Raad, senior vice president CNN International Advertising Sales.

“The combination of two such iconic and aspirational global brands fits perfectly with CNN International’s worldwide reach and brand positioning,” said Raad. “This unique partnership with Lotus Racing takes CNN International into a new era of marketing and promotions and puts us in front of a worldwide audience of millions.”


A delighted Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes commented: “We are very proud to welcome CNN into the Lotus Racing family. It is a sign of the positive impact we have already made in the global business market that such a prestigious brand, familiar to millions around the world as the definitive source of news and current affairs, has made the decision to partner with us. The whole team and I are looking forward to working with CNN in the months and years to come on some very exciting campaigns.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Dr. Mahathir Officially Opens Lotus Racing Factory

dr_mahatir lotus racing factory.jpg-a5ecbe48

Tun Dr. Mahathir, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, today conducted the official opening of the Lotus Racing factory in Hingham, Norfolk. Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, and one of Asia’s most influential political figures, was joined by Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes, Deputy Team Principals Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin and Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne for the official ceremony to declare the factory open.


During his tour Tun Dr. Mahathir was given a detailed explanation of the different aspects of a modern Formula One team factory. He was then seated in the Lotus Cosworth T127 Chassis 02 while the engine was fired up, giving the team’s esteemed guest a very rare insight into the conditions the team’s drivers, Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy, Italy’s Jarno Trulli and Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen work in at races and tests.


Tun Dr. Mahathir created the vision for the establishment and growth of motorsport in Malaysia, and therefore the birth of the Lotus Racing team. This visionary spirit was the driving force for the establishment of the Malaysian Grand Prix, held at the world-renowned Sepang International Circuit which was also created and built under his Premiership.


Tony Fernandes and fellow Lotus Racing shareholders Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin were honoured that Tun Dr. Mahathir oversaw such an important milestone in the team’s development, saying “It is very exciting for us and the team that Tun Dr. Mahathir has been able to come to Norfolk to officially open our factory. He is the Father of motor racing in Malaysia, the visionary behind the birth of the Sepang International Circuit and the Malaysian Grand Prix and has given us all the inspiration to reach for the skies and achieve our dreams – as such it is a tremendous honour for us to welcome him here and we are extremely proud he has opened our factory today. ”

Lotus Racing completed its first official test last week in Jerez and now moves to Barcelona for the final official test before the season kicks off in earnest in Bahrain from March 12th – 14th.

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Lotus Racing Day 2 of Testing at Jerez

Wet conditions in Jerez greeted Lotus Racing as the team arrived on track with Heikki Kovalainen taking over driving duties for Thursday and Friday. First out on track at exactly 9am, Heikki completed his installation lap and returned to the pits to give positive initial feedback to the team about his first drive in the Lotus Cosworth T127.

30 laps later and a small mistake saw the Finn leave the track, bringing the team’s day to an early close, but not before useful data had been accumulated and more insights into the car’s performance had given Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne reasons to be positive. “Unfortunately a small off and a lack of spare parts curtailed the amount of laps we were able to do today, but fortunately we’ve got spare parts arriving this evening. Up to that point we had got on top of some reliability issues from the previous day and the car was running very smoothly. Although we have lost some track time, the changing conditions made it very difficult, so we haven’t lost too much and we’ll be ready to continue with Heikki in the morning.”

Heikki added his thoughts, saying: “My initial feeling from the car is good – it fundamentally feels right. I’m disappointed the day came to an early end, but feel good about the team and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow.”

Team Principal Tony Fernandes made his first visit to the Jerez test to see the Lotus Racing team in action and left feeling very positive: “Still a great day in many ways. You get the highs and the lows and you get the reality but overall I’m happy. The team is very motivated, there’s a lot of good morale and, while it’s unfortunate Heikki went off, these things happen. Something else I’m very pleased with is the reaction from the public to Lotus Racing. We’re going out there to tell the world what we’re up to and, judging by the phenomenal Twitter response we have had, we have already made an impact on the fans.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Lotus Racing completes its First day of F1 testing

Fairuz Fauzy, Lotus T127_3

Lotus Racing has enjoyed a successful first day of testing at Jerez with driver Fairuz Fauzy completing 76 laps without problems, and completing the 300 kms needed to gain his Super Licence, subject to FIA approval.

The team was among the first cars on track in wet conditions, and, despite a lack of power steering, due to supplier issues, Fairuz successfully fulfilled all his and the team’s objectives for the day.

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, said “It’s been an excellent day for the whole team. Firstly I want to say a big thank you to Fairuz who did an excellent job today with the first proper day of running. With so much going on, such as doing systems checks, it can be a pretty disjointed day for the driver. When you add into that the changeable conditions, and also the fact we were running without power steering today, it could have been a tricky day for Fairuz but he didn’t put a foot wrong so well done to him and a big thank you.

“With the car we had no major reliability issues – a few niggles with overheating which were quickly solved and then the car ran pretty faultlessly. The power steering issue will be fixed for tomorrow so all in all a very successful first day and a busy evening ahead preparing the car for tomorrow.”

Fairuz Fauzy was also delighted with his first day behind the wheel of the Lotus Cosworth T127, saying “First of all I want to thank the team. To arrive here and complete 76 laps is fantastic. It was a big challenge, both to complete the 300kms I need for the Super Licence, and with no power steering it was difficult to drive in the dry, not so bad in the wet, so I was driving a bit conservatively but I am just very pleased.”

Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen takes over driving duties for the next two days (Thursday and Friday) before Jarno Trulli joins the action on Saturday.

[press release from Lotus racing]

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen confirmed at Lotus F1 Racing


Lotus F1 Racing has today confirmed that Italy’s Jarno Trulli, Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen and Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy have joined the team to spearhead driving duties for its debut Formula 1 season in 2010.

There has been much speculation surrounding the identity of Lotus F1 Racing’s driver signings in recent weeks, but the appointment of Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz was made formal in an official announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon, at which Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz were also present.

35-year-old Trulli is one of the most experienced, consistent racers in Formula 1 and unquestionably still one of the fastest men over a single lap. He is one of just a select few drivers to have tasted victory in Formula 1, and that at the jewel in the crown of Formula 1 racing, the Monaco Grand Prix. He has also finished in the top ten of the drivers’ Championship table on seven occasions.

Heikki’s F1 career began in 2006 when he made his debut as a test driver. His appointment to the Lotus F1 Racing team will see the 28 year old Finn starting his fourth season in the Formula 1 World Championship and he brings with him a race winning reputation, confirmed by his first victory in Hungary in 2008, and a wealth of experience that will make a potent combination with fellow race driver Jarno Trulli and Fairuz Fauzy.

27-year-old Fauzy joins the team having previously held a Formula 1 testing role for the Spyker squad back in 2007. Since then he has driven in the F1 feeder series GP2, the World Series by Renault, as well as being named as lead driver for Malaysia’s involvement in the A1GP Championship.

It is a reflection of the determination and status of Lotus F1 Racing to return to Formula 1 that they have hired two race winning drivers for the debut season.


“I am thrilled that we have been able to sign Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz to drive for Lotus F1 Racing in our debut season. The appointment of Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz as our race drivers is a testament to the quality of our team, to our ambition and drive, and above all to our long-term vision of success in Formula 1. Jarno and Heiki are winners and have proven track records in Formula 1, and will be a big asset to us as we look to develop the team and the car throughout 2010. Jarno and Heikki are two extremely versatile drivers who have proven themselves more than capable of achieving solid results no matter how tough the conditions. Having Fairuz on board is also great news. He is undoubtedly the best Malaysian senior driver at the moment and it is a pleasure to welcome him into Malaysia’s Formula 1 team. We only secured our 2010 entry from the FIA in September and already we have our first car in production and have signed two Formula 1 race winners to drive for us, as well as a home-grown Malaysian driver. Not bad for three months’ hard work! There is more to come from us and we head into the holiday period buoyed by what we have accomplished already but inspired to push the boundaries yet further.”


“It is a privilege for me to sign for the new Lotus F1 Racing team. I have been impressed by the long-term vision of the team management and technical staff. Tony has set out very ambitious plans and I am ready to help the team achieve these high targets. I am also pleased to be back working alongside Mike Gascoyne, someone with whom I have enjoyed previous success at other teams. I get on very well with him and I respect his working style. Lotus is a truly iconic and inspirational brand and it is great that the name is back in Formula 1. We will be hoping to draw inspiration from the heritage of Lotus for our team.”

“I am also delighted to be racing alongside Heikki, someone who I have enjoyed racing against since 2007, and someone else, like me, who brings valuable experience from his time with two of Formula 1’s most established teams. I believe that together, we are among the most competitive pairings on the grid, and we will be determined to bring success to Lotus F1 Racing to repay the faith that Tony and the team have shown in us.”

“The fact that the team is Malaysian gives us all an extra responsibility because we will be carrying the hopes of a nation on our shoulders, but we will give the absolute maximum to reward their loyalty and trust. I am here to win; I will fight for the team and for Malaysia. Every proud Malaysian should be behind the team.”


“It’s fantastic to be joining Lotus F1 Racing and I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead. I recently visited our factory in Norfolk, UK, and was so impressed by seeing how far the team has come in such a short time since it was launched in September, and by how determined everyone is to meet Tony’s ambitious targets. I knew immediately it would be a fantastic opportunity to help them achieve their goals.”

“I believe that appointing two drivers with the experience Jarno and I have shows how determined the team is to go racing in a truly competitive way, and our pairing sends out a very strong message to our competitors.”

“I’m also excited to be part of a team that is not only bringing back the Lotus name, one of the most iconic teams in any form of global motorsport, but also doing so with the support and backing of Malaysia, a country I fell in love with when I first raced there in 2007. I can’t wait to begin working with Tony, Mike and the team they are putting together, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the welcome we will be given by Formula 1 fans around the world as we bring Lotus F1 Racing to the grid.”


“There is no greater honour than having the chance to drive for your country. I was given the opportunity to do that for A1 Team Malaysia in A1GP for a couple of years, but to have the chance to join Malaysia’s first fully fledged Formula 1 team is very special for me and the highlight of my career so far. I look forward to working closely with Jarno and Heikki on developing the car and the team in our first season together in Formula 1. I am sure we can do Malaysia as a nation proud, as well as upholding the tradition of such a legendary F1 name such as Lotus. Furthermore I look forward to developing as a driver in Formula 1 with the team in the future.”



Jarno made a fighting start to his Formula 1 career when he joined the Minardi team in 1997, but after just seven races he was asked to replace the injured Olivier Panis at Prost where he made an immediate impact. He finished fourth in the German GP and led the Austrian GP until he was cruelly denied a sensational podium finish with an engine failure. Nonetheless, Jarno had made his mark and stayed at the Prost team for a further two seasons. Results were not forthcoming but he claimed his first career podium with a fine drive to second place in the wet European GP in 1999. The result was something of a fitting farewell to his time at Prost as Jarno joined the Jordan Grand Prix squad for the new Millennium.

It was another barren period for Jarno in terms of podium results but a handful of fourth places and some sublime qualifying performances attracted the attentions of the Renault team for 2002. His first year at the French manufacturer alongside Jenson Button did little to improve upon his previous results but in 2003, with the team’s technical department led by Mike Gascoyne, he was given a more competitive car with which to show his full potential. Racing alongside Fernando Alonso, Jarno returned to the podium for the first time since his Prost days with third place in the German GP at Hockenheim. The result gave Jarno renewed confidence and paved the way for Jarno’s breakthrough season in 2004.

Once again partnering Alonso, Jarno attained regular points and podium challenges before taking a breathtaking victory around the streets of Monte Carlo. Jarno had established himself as one of the men to beat but midway through the year relations with his team had started to deteriorate and towards the end of the year he opted for a surprise switch to Toyota with whom he would stay until 2009.

In his five-and-a-bit seasons with Toyota Jarno put in some incredible performances both in qualifying and in races. In his first full season with the team in 2005, with Mike Gascoyne at the technical helm, he was one of the Championship leaders in the early races taking Toyota’s first ever podium results in Malaysia and Bahrain. Toyota’s competitiveness dropped off after Gascoyne’s departure from the team in 2006 and Jarno was only able to fight for occasional points finishes until a reversal of fortunes in 2008. His scored his first podium in three years at the French Grand Prix and Toyota were one of the teams to beat in the first races of 2009. Jarno took an incredible pole position in Bahrain but a miscalculated race strategy prevented him from converting it into the team’s maiden victory. Nevertheless, with two podiums from the first four races and a highly competitive second place in the team’s home race in Japan, Jarno ended the season – what would be Toyota’s final in Formula 1 – with some career-high performances.

Incredibly, the 2010 season will mark Jarno’s 14th season in Formula 1 but he shows no signs of slowing down. By joining Lotus F1 Racing, Jarno has the chance to rejoin Mike Gascoyne and to spearhead a brand new team into Formula 1. His vast experience racing at the pinnacle of motorsport and his respected reputation as a team-player will be vital characteristics to the new Lotus F1 Racing team as they fight their way up the grid during 2010.


Heikki started his motor racing career karting in the early 1990’s. His first recognition came with second place in the Finnish Formula A Championship in 1999 and 2000. That year also saw Heikki add the Scandinavian Championship and the Elf Masters, held at Paris Bercy, to his achievements, earning him title of Karting Driver of the Year in his native Finland.

Heikki’s success saw him move up to the British Formula Renault Championship in 2001, bringing two wins, two poles and three fastest laps, enough to give him fourth place in the Championship, plus the 2001 Finnish Automobile Sports Federation “Rookie of the Year” award. That same year, Heikki made his F3 debut at the world renowned Macau Grand Prix, finishing 8th.

In 2002 Heikki moved on to compete in the British F3 Championship, scoring an impressive five wins, three poles and three fastest laps, securing his third position in drivers’ standings. He was once again given the “Rookie of the Year” award, and won the prestigious F3 support race at the British Grand Prix. He capped an impressive year by finishing second in Macau and fourth at the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort.

In 2003 Heikki competed in the World Series by Nissan: a win and two poles were enough to get second place in the Championship. That same year he also made his F1 test debut, driving the Renault R23 at Barcelona and the Minardi Cosworth at Vallelunga two weeks later.

2004 brought more success for Heikki, securing the World Series by Nissan Championship. Driving for the Pons Team he crushed the opposition, with six wins, nine poles and ten fastest laps to his name, competing alongside Tiago Monteiro, Enrique Bernoldi and Narain Karthikeyan. As a member of the Renault Driver Development Program Heikki assisted with the development of Renault’s Championship winning R24, adding to his growing F1 experience.

Stade de France, Paris, was the venue for the season ending Race of Champions in 2004. Alongside Marcus Gronholm, Heikki represented Finland in the Cup of Nations, where he and his team mate took the runner-up spot. However, the top step of the podium did not elude him long, with Heikki winning the coveted Champion of Champions title by beating 2004 World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb and seven times Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher in front of a packed stadium.

In 2005 Heikki moved up to GP2, taking part in the inaugural series with Arden Motorsport. His impressive development continued, finishing second overall in the series, securing five wins and two poles along the way.

2006 saw Heikki make the step up to the very pinnacle of world motorsport, replacing Frank Montagny as the Renault F1 Team’s third driver. A series of impressive displays in testing saw him achieve his primary Formula 1 goal, with the announcement he had been promoted by the Renault F1 Team to a full-time race seat for the 2007 season.

Pitted against the vastly experienced Giancarlo Fisichella, Heikki enjoyed an excellent debut season in 2007, out-performing and out-scoring his team-mate, becoming second best rookie of the season after Lewis Hamilton and taking a very credible seventh place in the final Championship standings.

These achievements did not go unnoticed, and in December 2007 Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes announced Heikki as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton, a position he held for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, until today’s announcement of his appointment to Lotus F1 Racing. 2008 saw Heikki claim both his first pole position, at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and his first race win, at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he became the 100th driver to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix.


Mohamed Fairuz bin Mohamed Fauzy was born on 24 October 1982 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From an early age, Fairuz began displaying a natural aptitude to speed. As a child, when most other kids his age were watching cartoons or playing with their friends, Fairuz could be found on a go-kart circuit.

By the age of 12, he was already competing with senior drivers in international races. In 1995, Fairuz, 13, clinched his first victory in one of the Championships – the Formula TKM Race in Buckmore Park, England, which became the base from which he would launch his bid for Formula 1.

A host of other Championships followed, including 5 times consecutively reigning champion of the ASEAN Kart Prix from 1996-2000. In 2000, Fairuz moved to the UK to participate in his first international single-seater series – Formula Ford Zetec Championship. After that time, he participated in numerous races such as the British Renault Sport Winter Series, British Formula Renault Championship, British Formula 3 Scholarship Class and British Formula 3 Championship Class.

Fauzy moved to the GP2 Series in 2005, signing with the DAMS team and becoming the first Malaysian and one of only a number of Asian drivers in the Championship. Fairuz then contested the Championship in 2006 with the Super Nova International Racing team. During this period, he was also one of the A1 Team Malaysia’s drivers alongside Alex Yoong in the A1GP.

After GP2, Fauzy was confirmed as Spyker F1’s test and reserve drivers for 2007. He also participated in World Series by Renault in 2007 with Cram Competition team and in 2008 with Fortec Motorsport. Additionally, in 2008, he participated in GP2 Asia Series driving for the Super Nova team. He became the number 1 Asian driver after finishing fourth out of 26 drivers in the Championship.

Fairuz was the nominated first driver for A1 Team Malaysia in the 2008/09 season and participated in the World Series by Renault for MofazFortec Motorsport, the first Malaysian motorsport outfit in the Championship, finishing the season in second place with an impressive 98 points and one race win.


The new Lotus F1 Racing logo has been developed to represent the teams future and heritage. We have designed a typeface which is progressive and bold, yet instantly fitting with the teams long and successful history. Taking clues from the iconic Jim Clarke Type 49 the new ‘DNA’ device uses the Lotus colours in a recognizable form which is extremely flexible and will become a key element of the new team brand.