Lotus Racing to set up R&D and wind tunnel in Sepang International Circuit

Fernandes said that the construction of the facility will, apart from creating jobs also make the country the technology hub for the F1 racing team. He said “We are excited over the project as the spin-off is huge and underscores our commitment to F1 and Malaysia as a whole. It would also mean that by having this facility we offer our people the chance to be involved in the project and the Asean region the opportunities to be part of the F1 scene. We are already moving towards getting this project off the ground and we are hopeful that it could be completed by this year,”

At the moment, they are finding more funding for the Lotus F1 Racing team so that they can further improve their technology and thereby gaining a competitive edge from all angles. He added that “There is no question that more sponsors are needed and we are looking into this aspect as we try to move ahead in our effort to be competitive. We’ve accomplished what we said we’ would do when we started seven months ago. We wanted to see at least one car cross the line for the first four races, and we’ve done just that. But looking ahead we are hoping to see improvements in our durability and also for the cars to be more competitive,”

The plan to set up the facility had always been in the works and Malaysia was always the top choice. According to Mike Gascoyne, the chief technical officer of Lotus Racing, this is to capitalize on the skills of talents in the country and that it would surely benefit a lot of Malaysian who are fortunate enough to be selected to work with the team. He said “It is our aim to have such a centre in Malaysia and make use of the skills and talents that are here. I know, from my experience, they are many people in Malaysia who could benefit working with a Malaysian F1 team. The facilities that will be built here is being done in association with our technology partners Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM). We are also looking at extending our existing links with universities in Malaysia and develop an intern programme to enable graduates to gain experience in F1,”

On the first 4 races which the Lotus F1 team has been involved in, Gascoyne said that he is satisfied with they way things are as they are a new team and are constantly looking at ways to improve. “These first four races were always going to be tough, but we’ve achieved what we set out to and now we’re looking ahead to Barcelona and seeing how the updates we’ve been working on help us move forward. We will be fitted with new lightweight materials which should allow us to bring down our timing considerably. Thus the races in Europe should provide us with better results,”