Lotus Racing chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne sees no reason why the team cannot continue its solid start to life in Formula One as the season rolls on to the fourth and final 'flyaway' round before heading back to Europe in May.

Although the team - like fellow newcomers Virgin and HRT, and F1 stalwart Sauber - has yet to notch a point in 2010, Gascoyne has been happy with the way the T127 and drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen have performed in the three races to date, and is looking for another step on the road to reliability as the circus stops off in Shanghai.

"It's just a couple of weeks since Malaysia and the last of the early season 'flyaway' races, so we're focusing on getting both cars across the finish line here before we turn our attention to the upgrade package we have planned for Barcelona," the veteran designer confirmed, "The guys back at the factory have worked very hard on the parts we sent back, and have done a great job to turn around everything in time and get it sent back out here.

"Our car's race pace has been good so far, and I think we'll see that again in Shanghai as it's a technical circuit that will bring out the best in both our drivers. I think their experience will see us build on the solid start we've had so far."

Spirits are high as Lotus heads to China, with both Kovalainen and Trulli listing the race among their favourites.

"I feel really good coming here as I've had a few days of solid training and a bit of golf since leaving Malaysia - and I love coming to China," the Finn noted, "The country has great food and a deep culture and, every time I come here, I see something new. We have some great fans out here - they wait at the hotel all night just to get an autograph and always give us really good presents to take home. Last year some girls took a taxi and followed us to the hotel with a Finnish flag hanging out the window all the way!"

Kovalainen is not alone in acknowledging that the Shanghai International track is 'a good challenge for the drivers', and veteran team-mate Trulli confirms the view, despite not having enjoyed the best of luck there.

"China's one of my favourite races on the calendar as it rewards a well-balanced car and encourages you to push hard, particularly in the high speed corners," the Italian explained, "We've proved we have good reliability in the car, so I'm looking forward to bringing it home and giving the Chinese fans something new to cheer for."

Even though Lotus celebrated one of its 'home' races last time out in Malaysia, Trulli hopes that the fans will recognise that the team's 'Asian core' this weekend. It is an aspect of the operation that also gives ebullient team principal Tony Fernandes reason to look forward to China.

"I can't wait to see the fans' reaction to us," Fernandes admits, "It's an honour to be in Shanghai as China is the home of the new world and has been a very important market for AirAsia, so it's somewhere I'm always excited about coming to.

"We are thrilled that we are bringing Lotus Racing, a uniquely Asian-British team, to the Shanghai Grand Prix [sic], particularly as we have a number of people within the team with Chinese heritage who are very proud to see our team here for the first time. I know the whole team will work hard to put on a good show on and off track, and I hope that this demonstrates that we can provide a very good platform for universities, commercial partners and future drivers across China to work with a team whose heart beats close to our Asian home."


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