Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, the team principal was at the launch where he has been the nucleus of the team since it was formed. The CEO of Air Asia said “I am extremely proud to be here today and to be able to show the world the fruits of the team’s hard work over the last five months. It’s humbling for me and my fellow shareholders, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin to see how a team that five months ago didn’t even exist is now a thriving workforce, full of enthusiasm and passion for Lotus Racing and the challenges ahead and capable of producing such a beautiful machine in such a short time.”

The leverage that the Malaysian brands will get out of competing in the F1 would be endless where names like ‘Tune Group’, Naza, Proton and of course ‘1Malaysia’. Sources even claimed that should the Lotus F1 team win any races during the season, instead of playing the national anthem of the driver, they will be playing the Malaysian national anthem instead and this is no rumour. Fernandez added that “Now we’ve achieved two major milestones; confirming our entry and unveiling our car, but now the real work starts. Next we move on to testing and the season ahead and I’m confident that the team will exceed expectations wherever we go, and will do so on a wave of support around the world that has been growing daily since we first unleashed Lotus Racing back in September ’09. “Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, the 2 drivers and Fairuz Fauzy, the test driver were also at the launch. It seemed that Fairuz will be the first to test the car in Jerez.

Mike Gascoyne, the technical chief spoke at the launch that getting the engine from scratch and to build a team has been one of the most challenging thing he had done. “The last few months have been some of the most challenging of my career, but it’s been a challenge the whole team and I have thrived on since we first started work on the car up in Norfolk. I’m delighted that we’ve reached this point, and now we have a beautiful car that gives us a great base to work from for the season ahead and a fighting chance of going racing in the right way, with a winning mentality. The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead,”

 

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