Gascoyne: Lotus ahead of schedule

Lotus F1 technicaL director Mike Gascoyne has said he believes the team are ahead of schedule with the development of their 2010 car after it was first fired up yesterday afternoon.

The ex-Toyota and Renault man put paid to rumours that the Malaysian-funded team would not be ready for the first grand prix in Bahrain on March 14th.

“It was obviously a big step forward to get the car fired up,” Gascoyne told AUTOSPORT.

“The most pleasing aspect of the engine fire-up was that when we got the entry, in our production schedule we had it pencilled in as February 12. So to do it on the 6th – six days ahead of schedule, was a great effort by everyone.

“What makes this so satisfying is that this is a project where everything has been built up from new. Everyone has contributed to the effort.”

Gascoyne also made optimistic noises about the performance of the car, although he conceded it was not yet where he wanted it to be.

“We are looking in really good shape,” he said. “We have to improve the pace of our car and the results from wind tunnel, but that will come with time.

“Our first aim was to be on the grid – to be a professional team where everything is to be F1 standard. We definitely will do that. The team will look good and step one has been achieved.”