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Fernandes gives Lotus an 'A' for achievement

As he reflects on Lotus Racing's progress during its maiden campaign of F1 competition thus far, a proud Tony Fernandes awards the Anglo/Malaysian newcomer an 'A' for achievement and effort
Tony Fernandes has revealed that he is so proud of the way in which Lotus Racing has progressed and earned its place on the grand prix grid over the course of its maiden campaign in F1 2010, that he would rate the team with an 'A' for achievement and effort with five races left to run.

Lotus might have yet to trouble the points-scorers in the top flight – or even come close, for that matter – but the Anglo/Malaysian outfit has clearly outperformed fellow newcomers Virgin and Hispania (HRT), and has a number of ambitious plans in the pipeline, including a name change to the iconic 'Team Lotus' moniker and a widely-anticipated engine-supply and technical agreement with Renault in 2011.

With the Hingham-based operation's two Cosworth-powered T127s for former grand prix-winners Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen sporting the legendary gold-and-green livery of Lotus entries of yore, it has been an impressive debut season for Fernandes' squad, and the Malaysian entrepreneur admits that thus far, all of his hopes and expectations have been met and then some.

“At this stage I'd give us an 'A' grade and I'd say it's been a fantastic season for the team in its first year,” the 46-year-old told the official F1 website. “There have obviously been highs-and-lows, but just being on the grid in Bahrain was an incredible achievement and now, 14 races in, it still feels like the dream is coming true.

“I'm obviously looking forward to the remaining races this season, and the battle with our nearest rivals is great for the fans and for all the teams involved – but for all of us, next year is going to be very exciting.”

Fernandes is the man who launched Malaysia's first low-budget airline, AirAsia, just under a decade ago, and he insists that juggling his two key business interests is turning out to be far more of a pleasure than a time-consuming chore.

“Initially, I wanted the AirAsia shareholders to feel confident that I was devoting enough time to the business, but after another record year I think they've realised I can do both,” he explained. “I have a fantastic CEO in Riad [Asmat] and an amazing chief technical officer in Mike [Gascoyne]. With video-conferencing, Blackberry, e-mail and every other form of communication at our disposal, I think I'll be team principal for a few more years.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Saturday Practice, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Lotus Racing, T127
Friday Practice 1, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Lotus Racing, T127
Qualifying, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Lotus Racing, T127
Friday Practice 2, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Lotus Racing, T127
18.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, Tony Fernandes, Lotus F1 Team, Team Principal - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
Friday Practice 1, Tony Fernandes, Team Principal, Lotus Racing
Tony Fernandes (MAL) Lotus Racing
Sebastien Ogier, Red Bull, RB7, F1 test [Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13

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Aqua - Unregistered

September 23, 2010 3:14 PM

@ed Hey can u please stop making all this stupid comments that has no meaning? It is very annoying seeing your comments everywhere when there is a article about Lotus! If u dont like Lotus dont waste your time reading the acticle and use those few minutus of your life to do something else. Dont post all your stupid comment that has no meaning thank you~

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