The 1Malaysia Racing Team or more fondly known as Team Lotus believe that they are now part of the midfield teams in the world championship after the recent outing at the Shanghai Chinese GP. There were plenty of drama and action on the race tracks where McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton spoilt the party for Red Bull Racing when he won the race, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Meanwhile, Team Lotus’ driver Heiki Kovalainen finished 16th, where he beat Sauber’s Sergio Perez and Williams driver Pastor Maldonado. Kovalainen believe that with the result, they are now competing against the likes of the Williams, Saubers and Lotus Renaults who have been crowding the midfields in previous seasons.
He said that while it might not be the highest position that Team Lotus had finished, it was their best performance when the overtook 2 midfield cars. Mike Gascoyne, the chief of technical with Team Lotus said that it was an ‘absolutely fantastic’ race and it was the drivers and the pit crews who performed well above their best and the fact that Kovalainen won 2 midfield teams showed that they are serious in contending.
In previous seasons, Team Lotus could only win against the rookie teams like Virgin Racing but was unable to make any inroads into the midfields. This, according to Gascoyne is satisfying as they are drawing closer against the teams above them. He also attributed the ‘win’ to the perfect pit stop strategy where they adopted a 2 stop system. Meanwhile Riad Asmat, the co-ECO of the team said that he is ‘awestruck’ with the performance of the team who was racing against the more experienced teams.
Having said that, there are still a lot of work to do ahead as Team Lotus is still behind the other competitors and its rival Lotus Renault who have been doing extremely well since the season kicked off including 2 podium finished in the Australian and Malaysian GPs respectively. Team Lotus and Lotus Renault, which is owned by Proton Group have been on loggerheads over the rights to use the ‘Lotus’ brand name and this have caused a certain rivalry between who is the more ‘Malaysian’ team among the two.