Lotus F1 back in 2010

Lotus are to return to Formula 1 for the first time since 1994 after being granted the 13th slot on the grid from next season.
They will line up as one of four new teams for 2010 – alongside Campos Grand Prix, Manor and US F1.

logo-lotus.gifLotus are to return to Formula 1 for the first time since 1994 after being granted the 13th slot on the grid from next season.

They will line up as one of four new teams for 2010 – alongside Campos Grand Prix, Manor and US F1.

Great news for us F1 fans, especially those who remember the good old days when Lotus were last involved. Admittedly, it’s been a fair few years since they could be classed as one of the successful teams, but I’m just glad to have the badge back amongst the starting grid. I was born in 67, so not quite old enough to remember their best years between the 60’s and 70’s. Not a lot of people realise that despite withdrawing from F1 back in 94, they are still the fourth most successful F1 team ever.

In its new incarnation the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs and is being led by team principal Tony Fernandes, the founder and CEO of the Malaysian-based Tune Group which owns Air Asia airline.

Mike Gascoyne – who has 20 years experience in the sport after working with Jordan, Renault, Toyota, and most recently Force India – returns to F1 as the team’s technical director.

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For more information see the original BBC Sport Article: Lotus will return to F1 in 2010

Lewis Hamilton : Will He? Won’t He?

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He qualified first at for the British Grand Prix, the first Englishman to do that for 11 years.

In the very last lap of qualifying (by all of the drivers), he drove superbly and beat Kimi Raikkonen by 0.102seconds.
(Raikkonen probably robbed himself of pole position by hitting the dirt in the very last bend).

Lewis probably gained half a second from the support of the local home crowd as evident by the massive roar that could be heard as he crossed the line at the end of Q3.

For someone so young to handle the immense media pressure is a testament to Lewis, his father (and family) and the support from McLaren.

I keep waiting for him to make a mistake and throw the car off the track, but the more pressure there is, the better he seems to perform.  8 podiums in 8 races is a dream start for a rookie in his first full season of F1 racing.

But as much as I want him to win this afternoon (1pm July 08th 2007), I have a sneaky feeling that in an effort to keep up with the apparently faster Ferrari’s of Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, today is the day when a podium finish will elude him. If it does happen, it will be interesting to see how he handles the disappointment in his home Grand Prix.  Only Lewis knows what he himself is capable of, and only he knows what his level of expectation is.  Of course he has to go out there each race believing he is 100% capable of winning or there would be no point.
Take Jenson Button who yesterday was alleged to have claimed he would quit F1 rather than be content with finishing 8th every race.  When you believe you have the ability to win, but don’t have the car to do it, things can be very difficult.

But the F1 following expect Lewis to win today, more so the British contingent.  The disappointment of not winning today, would be bad enough, not finishing on a podium would be unthinkable, and not finishing at all would be a total disaster. But is this how Lewis thinks, or is he really that level headed to know this is just his first season and that everything that has happened so far is a bonus.  Don’t forget, Lewis has been prepared for F1 racing for years, so he’s not where he is at the top of the F1 Driver standings for no reason. He is there because the guy has the skill and determination to succeed.

Of course I don’t want him to fail today, I’ll be there screaming out loud when he crosses the line in first. But at the same time, it would be a massive test of his character if he did fail today, and would let us know what he is really made of.  For him to finish in every race in a podium position in his first season would be something extraordinary.  

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Images From: http://www.mclaren.com/interactive/wallpapers.php