Lotus: more of that, and better, please
It's frightening to think that over 20% of the season is complete already, and we're only 7 weeks in! The opening four rounds of 2010 have been the ultimate shakedown for our three new teams, and the start of the European season this weekend is the next milestone.
The magnificent Lotus lead the way in our Blue Flag Championship, mainly thanks to the flying Finn Heikki. He has been a one-man-points-scoring-machine with 136 to his name. That's more than either the HRT or Virgin pairings could muster!
He's also the only driver of the new teams to beat any driver from any of the established teams - not counting retirements obviously. Nico Hulkenberg was the unlucky chap, in China, where the Heik-meister ran as high as 6th during the rain affected race.
It hasn't been all plain sailing though. Oh no.
Trulli must be walking under ladders, or crossing black cats or something. If there's a reliability problem to have had, he's had it. And that's always a worry.
So onto Spain.
While Lotus have had small incremental updates to the T127 at all of the races, Barcelona is where the big guns are rolled out. Boss-man Mike said on Friday,
"We do expect [the upgrade] to be reasonably significant – we have an aero package with revised sidepods, front wings and brake ducts, and a number of mechanical changes,"
Thankfully the team hasn't had the distraction of rebuilding the car with a fuel tank big enough to meet the finish line. Nor are they negotiating updates to the machinery through a third party. That said the aim is closing the gap to Williams and Sauber, rather than just keeping ahead of Virgin and Hispania.
With the start of May and the nights drawing out into summer, all too soon it'll be time to start thinking about the T128 and 2011, so it's reasuring to learn big-Mike's got that covered too,
"It’s very gratifying to see the whole factory in full operation, with every department now nearly fully staffed but starting to work to their full potential. This means we can now look at more long-term development and R&D programmes, and start thinking about future cars."
2011 is way off though, Lotus need to prove themselves as a team to take seriously to the rest of the grid. That means blowing the less well organised and worse funded Virgin and HRT operations into the weeds for the rest of the season and closing on the back of the midfield pack.
Let's do it :)