Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lotus Cosworth T127 unveiled

Malaysia's Formula One (F1) outfit, the Lotus F1 Racing, on Friday unveiled its machine for the 2010 Federation of International Automobile (FIA) F1 World Championship Grand Prix (GP) season.

The vaunted machine, Lotus Cosworth T127, was revealed to over 300 people at the Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre, located in the heart of Westminster, London.

Team Principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes was joined on stage by Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and drivers -- Italian Jarno Trulli, Finnish Heikki Kovalainen and Malaysian Mohd Fairuz Fauzy -- to take the wraps off the car.

As the lights came up, the Lotus Cosworth T127's stunning green and yellow livery was seen for the first time, with the wording "1Malaysia" visibly displayed.

Fernandes said he was extremely proud of the team's achievement, having launched the car in just five months since the team was granted its entry to the FIA F1 World Championship.

"I am extremely proud to be here and to be able to show to the world the fruits of the team's hard work over the last five months because we started with only four people and now with 130 staff," he said.

Fernandes also thanked the support of the Malaysian government especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.

"It's humbling for me and my fellow shareholders, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin, to see how a team that five months ago didn't even exist, is now a thriving workforce, full of enthusiasm and passion for the Lotus F1 Racing and the challenges ahead," he said.

"Next, we move on to testing the car and I'm confident that the team will exceed expectations wherever we go," he said.

The machine will make its debut on the track at the F1 third official test at two circuits in Spain, namely the Jerez circuit on Feb 17 and Barcelona circuit from Feb 25.

The Lotus F1 Racing team, announced by Najib in September last year and operated by 1Malaysia Racing Team (1MRT) Sdn Bhd, is targeting to be the best among three new teams this season.

The team, which will be flying the Malaysian flag, is a privately-funded project jointly owned by Tune Group and Naza Group. Tune Group is jointly owned by team principal Fernandes and Kamarudin, one of the team's directors.

Other team directors are Naza Group chief executive officers SM Nasarudin and Zahri Ismail.

The 2010 F1 World Championship will kick-off with the Bahrain GP on Mac 14, followed by Australian GP (Mac 28) and Malaysian GP at Sepang Circuit on April 4.

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