Cosworth's head of operations Mark Gallagher has spoken up in warm support of the efforts of F1 2010 newcomers Lotus, Virgin and Hispania (HRT) this year, arguing that all three have 'done a terrific job under difficult circumstances' and admitting that he would 'love' to see at least one of them break into the points before the campaign draws to a close.
Thus far, the highest one of the six cars from the three new teams has qualified has been Heikki Kovalainen with 15th spot on the starting grid in Malaysia, and whilst the Finn has run inside the points on several occasions by dint of his strategy, the best finish for any of the sextet to-date has been 13th, also tallied by the Suomussalmi native Down Under in Melbourne back in March.
That notwithstanding, Virgin, Lotus and HRT have all clearly made inroads as the season has advanced, and from lapping respectively 5.1 seconds, 5.2 seconds and a staggering 8.6 seconds shy of the leading pace back in qualifying for the Bahrain curtain-raiser at Sakhir, in Hungary last time out the trio were 3.6 seconds, 3.7 seconds and 6.0 seconds adrift – an average gain of 1.87 seconds each.
Lotus, indeed, got to barely 2.3 seconds away from the benchmark in Monaco, whilst Kovalainen came desperately close to outpacing Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi in Montreal – and that kind of effort, Gallagher contends, is proof positive that the trio have earned their place on the F1 grid. Now the Irishman hopes they may be recompensed for it over the remaining seven outings.
“The new teams have really done a terrific job under difficult circumstances in terms of lack of time to prepare and the most difficult economic situation the sport has endured in modern times,” he is quoted as having said by ITV-F1
. “With Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing and HRT, huge progress has been made, and it was particularly nice to see that the reliability issues which have been a problem for them at times finally disappeared [in Hungary, when all six cars took the chequered flag for the first time].
“We're very proud of our association with them and, from a personal point-of-view, I'd love to see one of the new teams score a world championship point before the end of the season. Impossible, some will say, but I believe that under certain conditions it could happen. That would be fantastic.”