Lotus technical officer Mike Gascoyne says the team is hoping to maintain its advantage over the other newcomers to the F1 grid in Singapore, despite the fact that no major upgrades will be carried on the T127 for the team's first attempt at the annual night race.
With the team having started to focus on its 2011 car, Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli will hit the Singapore streets without any meaningful revisions to their cars, although Gascoyne said he was confident that the pair would be able to stay ahead of rivals Virgin and Hispania on track.
“Now we move on to Singapore where we will be looking to get both cars over the finish line and reinforce our position in front of the new teams,” he said. “The focus now is really on the 2011 car, so we won't be bringing any major new parts to Singapore. Despite that, I think we'll be able to maintain the advantage we have over our nearest rivals on what is a pretty high downforce track.
“The track is bumpy and some of the kerbs are pretty high, so being able to deal with the bumps and the kerbs well is important. Both our drivers have reported that they feel like the car deals well with uneven surfaces, and they have the confidence to attack the kerbs in the T127, so let's see what happens.”
With Singapore having been the venue where the Lotus Racing programme was officially announced, team principal Tony Fernandes admitted that it would be a big weekend for the team, especially with a series of announcements set to be made during the event – which is expected to include confirmation of an engine deal with Renault for 2011.
“Singapore is going to be amazing, for me and the whole team – we'll be making a couple of very exciting announcements over the race weekend, so it'll be good for us on and off track,” he said. “Fairuz is driving in FP1 and it's always good to see a young Malaysian competing on a global level, particualrly for Lotus Racing. On a purely visual level it will be very cool to see our cars under the lights, and I think that green and yellow paint scheme, with the white flashes running along the cars, will look amazing on track – it's something the fans will love.
“Singapore is where we first announced the formation of Lotus Racing, standing there in black polo shirts and black caps. Mike had brought some parts with him to show Dr Tun Mahathir and now we have gone from that small beginning, with just a few parts and a very big dream, to where we are today, and long may that dream continue.”