Lotus Racing founder and team principal Tony Fernandes – never one shy of expressing his emotions – has waxed lyrical about what the F1 2010 newcomer has accomplished during its maiden campaign of top flight competition to-date, and insists that there will be 'no stone unturned' as the Anglo/Malaysian outfit endeavours to work its way up the grand prix grid.
Lotus is expected to underline the extent of its burning ambition to succeed with the forthcoming announcement of an engine-supply and technical agreement with Renault for 2011, having now officially severed its links with 2010 partner Cosworth [see separate story – click here
Even prior to that, however, Heikki Kovalainen's gritty performance to take the fight to the likes of F1 legend Michael Schumacher and Sébastien Buemi at established teams Mercedes Grand Prix and Scuderia Toro Rosso respectively in last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix – until the Finn's spectacular, fiery retirement at least – served notice of just how serious the best of the field's new arrivals is, a proud Fernandes contends.
“I'm just about over the excitement of the Singapore race!” quipped the charismatic AirAsia founder. “Seeing Heikki stay so cool under pressure really drove it home to me just how tough the drivers are. Making the decision to fight Michael and Buemi – and not let them pass just to bring the car home – lifted the spirits of everyone in the team after what had been a very long, hot weekend.
“Then, having the clarity of thought to pull over in the right place, get out and sort out the problem I think gained him a whole new level of respect – and it's that fighting spirit that we love. Maybe less of the fire-fighting in future, but not one bit less of the aggression.
“This has already been an incredible season, and it is a credit to everyone in our team that there is so much interest around the world in our future. We have achieved so much in one year and, whilst nothing in life worth having is easy, when we savour victory, the taste will be that much sweeter. For every single person who has given us support, praise and encouragement we thank you. We will leave no stone unturned to be the best.”