The new Lotus Racing team has set itself a realistic goal for its F1 debut in Bahrain this weekend, with the focus being to bring home a trouble finish for the new T127.
Despite being the last of the new F1 outfits to secure its entry for the 2010 season, Lotus has been able to complete more pre-season testing than either of its fellow newcomers, with Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli able to complete some solid running at the wheel of the new car.
While there remains plenty of work to do to improve the competitiveness of the machine, Lotus heads to Bahrain in confident mood although team boss Tony Fernandes admitted that it was important not to get carried away for the first race.
“We are all looking forward to Bahrain,” he said. “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.”
“Our test season was extremely productive,” concurred the Anglo/Malaysian outfit's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “In general we've had very good reliability, and the team is in very good shape going to the first race.”
Former Toyota ace Trulli, however, cautioned that it was important to remain realistic heading to the Gulf state.
“It would be nice to score a point,” he said, “but it is not going to be easy. We have to be realistic.”