Calling itself the best of the new teams, the new Lotus F1 outfit is intent on signing two experienced drivers—and to do so by the end of the month—in the hope of being among the “bottom of the established teams” in 2010.
At least, so says Lotus chief Mike Gasgoyne, and Autosport .
Jarno Trulli is the team’s top choice—and given Toyota’s pull-out, it seems a pretty strong inevitability that Trulli will end up there—but it also has contact former champ Jacques Villeneuve, and Christian Klien. Both of those drivers were seen with Lotus people at Abu Dhabi.
“We are looking for two drivers with experience,” [Gasgoyne] told AUTOSPORT. “We are not looking for pay drivers or new drivers. We think that is very important for the team.
“What is becoming clear to every one of the new teams is that we have gone from last to first of the new teams very rapidly. We are being seen as a serious entity. We have got quite a lot of interest, but we want two experienced drivers there.”
When asked about Trulli being top of his list, Gascoyne said: “He is one of the guys we would like to have. Jarno has, over one lap, always been sensational. That is even more important in a new team because you need to know where you are on a Saturday. Jarno can always give you that.”
“We hope by the end of November,” he said. “We don’t want to be hanging around, we want to be proactive in what we are doing, rather than reactive. That is something we want to tie up pretty soon.”
Gascoyne says that the design of the 2010 car is on schedule, with a first shakedown scheduled for February.
When asked if he felt his early ambition to be best of the new teams was still on track, he said: “I think that is not our target any more.
“That is a given, and now we are aiming at the bottom of the established teams. We want to be as close as possible to them,” he added.
Hey, if they are aiming for the bottom of the established teams, maybe “stealing” [allegedly!!] Force India’s designs makes more sense.
The team could do worse than a Trulli/Klien pairing, though, couldn’t they? I had heard Anthony Davidson’s name attached to Lotus, so I do have to admit I’m a bit disappointed he appears to be off their radar.
Is there a better line-up for Lotus? And is Gasgoyne being a little too big for his britches?