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New team news: Lotus CEO, Manor driver and, yes, USF1

Negative CamberCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2009

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Timo Glock of Germany and Toyota drives on his way to finishing second during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 27, 2009 in Singapore.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The telefax machines at the new teams’ HQs are on overdrive this Friday.

In no particular order (except to put USF1 last)…

The Lotus F1 team—or as it is known on its official site, “1Malaysia F1 Team (1MF1T)”—today named its CEO, Riad Asmat. Asmat, according to the release, “was attached to the Managing Director’s Office of Proton Holdings Berhad as General Manager.” OK ...

To clean up the name confusion, if there is any, 1Malaysia will be “debuting” in F1 “through Lotus F1 Racing.”

In addition to Asmat, the team also named Keith Saunt as its COO. Saunt has a solid F1 background: “Keith has over 20 years worth of experience in Formula 1 including senior roles with Team Lotus International, Benetton, Renault and most recently Red Bull Racing, where he held the role of Chief Operating Officer and Director of Red Bull Technology.”

Second up, and while it isn’t a telefax release [quick digression, if this joke isn't resonating, the telefax is basically a pre-fax machine that used to be, years back, how media outlets received releases ... so I'm keeping alive the joke about the new teams' lack of state-of-the-art equipment], it is some keen news:

Timo Glock is admitting he’s likely to abandon Toyota, despite the team giving him an offer. And according to Autosport , while Renault is the front-runner, Manor—I’m sorry, Virgin Manor—is also in the running. Here’s Timo’s quote to get the Timo-to-Manor fire going:

“Everybody says that the new teams are not interesting, but next year everything is possible,” he said. “With the new rules, 150-160kg on board, it will be different. When you see the rule changes this year, and the ups and downs during the season, even a smaller team like Force India had the chance to come up to the top five.

“Brawn GP won the championship and Red Bull—there is no real constructor at the moment fighting for the championship. Sure, McLaren-Mercedes-Benz is really, really strong again at the moment, but the point is that it is more equal.

“I think you have to look in every direction because nobody knows what is going on next year. That makes it interesting and you can make the right decision, or you can make the wrong decision.

“It doesn’t matter where you go, you never know what is going on next year. Sure the strong teams like McLaren and Ferrari, they will be on the top and fighting at the top, but you have to be open for everything.”

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And, finally, USF1, aka Todd’s team . It announced its European base would be at Spain’s Motorland Aragon facilities. It’s a fairly large technical center with Herman Tilke track.