Team boss Tony Fernandes has admitted that the old adage 'to finish first, first you have to finish' will be a key approach for the new Lotus outfit in 2010.
Lotus revealed the T127 to the public during a launch in London, with the car now set to make its testing debut next week in Jerez.
It marks a remarkable turnaround for the team, which was only granted an entry some five months ago, but Fernandes insisted it was important for the team not to try and run before it could walk in its first season on the grid.
"What are my expectations? Well I would just love to finish every race," he said during the launch. "If we can beat some of the new teams that would be a fantastic start. If we can beat some of the established teams towards the end of the season that would be great.
"As Heikki (Kovalainen) said this is not a one-year project. We are not here to come last every year. We are here to build a proper team, build the right foundations, not have any aspirations but build quietly and confidently. But mark my words we will compete as the very best over a period. And I think we've shown our seriousness by signing three very good drivers.
"So the expectation this year? Let's try and finish every race, let's learn a lot, with a learning curve that goes up, and be the best of the new teams, whoever they may be."
While very much a Malaysian entry, Lotus continues to operate out of its base in Norfolk – down the road from the Lotus Cars factory – and while Fernandes admitted that the team could one day be based in Malaysia, he insisted that the stability of remaining at Hingham was more important through the early stages of the programme.
“I think for the moment we are going to keep our base in Hingham,” he said. “I think the idea of trying to do two bases just complicates, so for the foreseeable future let's give the team the best ability to perform. And so Hingham will be the home for a while, and we will see how we progress from there.
“We are already out-growing Hingham actually. Heikki is complaining that if he doesn't come by 08.30 in the morning he hasn't got a car park slot. Notice the democracy in the team! That wouldn't happen in other teams. Formula One drivers would probably have their own parking spot, so we are very democratic. We like the feel, there is a good vibe, it's a good environment and I don't want to destroy that. So let's build it slowly and see where we go from there.
“I don't have any long-term plans. Right now it's Hingham, and giving the best ability for them to perform there in a stable environment and then we will see. Maybe Malaysia will be an eventual home if we can have better facilities and we can grow it and we have a Formula One track right next to us. But right now it makes a lot of sense to stay where we are. We don't have any plans to move.”