Lotus Shows Progress on 2010 F1 Racer

Lotus F1 Racing confirmed its entry into Formula 1 for the 2010 season one month ago, but the team is already prepared to start wind-tunnel testing on a scale model. Could this be a sign that the team is up to the task of developing an entire F1 in a scant five months?

Even though the team has made impressive progress in only one month, Lotus F1 Racing still has significant hurdles to overcome if they want to be competitive, or even get a car to the starting grid at the first race. After aerodynamic testing, the designs need to be finalized and machined, the carbon fiber parts need to be laid up, the car needs to be assembled, and drivers still need to be found, to name a few of the obstacles.

"There is no escaping the challenges that we face simply to get the car ready for the first race of next season, but I am confident that we are up to the task in hand," said Lotus F1 Racing technical director Mike Gascoyne. "Our target is to get the car ready for a roll out by the middle of February so that we can carry out pre-season testing in preparation for Bahrain in mid-March."

As with all 2010 Formula 1 entries, the new Lotus must conform to the new regulations, which mandate skinnier front tires and a larger fuel tank (because of the ban on in-race refueling). Some burdens have been eased, as Cosworth is again an F1 engine supplier and can supply any team with a standard, competitive engine. Lotus is expected to use the Cosworth engine, and is also partnering with Xtrac to help develop the gearbox.

"We need to remain realistic in our aims for the first year," Gayscone said. "We are a new team and we are starting our development late, so it will be an achievement just to get two cars on the Bahrain grid (first race of the 2010 season).

"I hope that by the middle of the season we will have established ourselves as the best of the rookie teams and then continue to make forward progress for the rest of the year."

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