Jarno Trulli has admitted that the new Lotus F1 will need to be patient during its debut season and can't expect to 'be on top straight away'.
Lotus became the second of the four new F1 teams to launch its 2010 challenger during an event in London and will now head to Spain to join testing at Jerez next week.
With the car having been put together in just five months, Trulli admitted that battling for points during the year ahead would be the main aim although he conceded that it would take time.
“We will be heading to Bahrain and we'll try to make it to the finish with both cars,” he told the press during the launch. “I can't say where we are going to be, because we have no idea exactly how good the car is going to be, but we first of all need to look decent and finish races. Afterwards, the next big challenge will be making a step forward in terms of aero updates – which will probably come in Barcelona. Then, after another five or six races, there will be another aero update.
“We want to start decent and then grow up. By the end of the season if we are fighting with the middle of the grid it will be great. When I am racing I am always dreaming of scoring a point, and the first point will be especially emotional for everyone. It is only a point, but it will be extremely appreciated however it comes.
“I think we have to take things step by step. I know I have to be patient and I know it is a long term project, as is my contract, so all I have to do is build up a team as well as I have done before, and make it stronger and stronger.”
Trulli added that fighting to take Lotus into the points would provide plenty of motivation for the season ahead – even if he won't be in a position to add to his F1 win tally – and the Italian said he was happy with his decision to join the newcomers for the year ahead.
“I had several options and obviously I had them all on the table, but at one stage there was something growing up and becoming interesting - and that was Lotus,” he said. “You know better than me, you are English, what Lotus is. I only realised afterwards, but afterwards I was thinking about it. Lotus is probably second only to Ferrari in motorsport.
“And there was this one man, this crazy person, who was Mike Gascoyne - who we all know and I know very well. He was getting ready to get this brand back on track. So honestly talking, I worked with Mike, who is definitely a difficult person if you don't know how to handle him, but he is someone who is very straightforward and who knows what to do in F1. So, technically, I was quite happy to have someone like him leading the team. In these days, you never know if there is enough money to do it, so eventually I met Tony [Fernandes] and I understood that there was really something serious going on – and I was right.
“We know it is not going to be easy and we are running out of time. What we have done and the guys have achieved is something great. I have great respect for the people who have been working on this project, but on the other hand for this year we have to be very realistic. We know that we are heading to Bahrain and having to deal with a lot of troubles and solve the problems but the most important thing is that we stick together. We have to be patient and for the first year we have to be reliable, decent and showing good progress. We cannot believe that we can join the club and be on top straight away – that is unrealistic.”