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GP Week : Issue 65
LOTUS F1 Technical Director Mike Gascoyne has revealed that it is the new-for-2010 F1 team's intention to stick to its roots and respect its past, and that its entry will be a continuation of the Lotus F1 story of old rather than a completely new enterprise. "We're very aware of the heritage and the history," he told GPWeek in Singapore. "Although it's a Malaysian team now, at the end of the day the Malaysian Proton owns the Lotus brand and that is something that is important. We're very aware of the heritage and we've actually got a Lotus 99 here in Singapore in the paddock club that Clive Chapman of classic team Lotus kindly lent us for the race. We've got the links with the Chapman family and I think it's important that we bear our heritage in mind. "We're just 10 miles from the Group Lotus factory in Norfolk and it's just four miles down the road from where I went to school. I hadn't been back there for 28 years so it was a bit of a shock driving past it. For me as well it's a great story." Gascoyne confirmed that when the day comes that his new team wins its first race, it will indeed be classed as Team Lotus' 80th F1 win, rather than Lotus F1's first win. "It will be Lotus' next win. Clive Chapman actually asked that question of [Team Principal] Tony Fernandes and he was very clear about it." Gascoyne also confirmed that the team had already started manufacturing parts for its 2010 car, and admitted that a lot of the work which had gone into his original 'Litespeed' F1 entry was being used in the new Lotus team's project. "We're quite a long way ahead. We're producing parts already and chassis patterns are being machined. We've been working on the project for three months. "It'll be tight, there's a lot of work to do but we've got a roll out date planned for the middle of February. We're under control." Lotus to retain classic name ARI Vatanen has announced his vice-Presidential candidates as the battle for the FIA Presidency moves into its nal month. The Finn will be backed by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein from Jordan, Antonis Michaelides from Cyprus, John Naylor from Ireland, Arie Ruitenbeek from Holland, Kari O. Sohlberg from Finland, Mumtaz Tachincioglu from Turkey and Jack Wavamunno from Uganda. It is an interesting line-up in its diversity of represented nations, although there have already been noises from within the Rallying world that Prince Feisal Al Hussein's support of Vatanen could impact upon Jordan's long- term plans to host a WRC event should the Finn fail to gain election on October 23rd. Jean Todt, meanwhile,e picked up support from two very important areas over the weekend of the Singapore Grand Prix. First the Bahrain Motor Federation announced its support of his candidacy, before F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that he, too, believed that the former Ferrari F1b team chief was best equipped for the role of FIA President. "I have known Jean for many years," Ecclestone said. "He is a most reliable, gifted and trustworthy person. He is determined and dedicated to whatever goals he sets himself and I admire and respect him greatly for everything he has achieved. "The FIA needs a president that is strong, capable and with experience at the highest levels of motorsport. Jean is by far the most knowledgeable and capable candidate for this vitally important role. I hope everybody will support his candidacy." While those close to Vatanen's campaign insist that the fight for the Presidency remains poised on a knife- edge, there is a growing feeling within the sport that Jean Todt's election as the next FIA President is all but a certainty. Battle for FIA Presidency rolls on Ari Vatanen reveals his Vice Presidential candidates for his battle with Jean Todt F1 NEWS >> 9