Badger was fortunate enough to be invited by Tony Fernandes to the launch of the new Lotus F1 car and it was probably the grandest of the launches so far with not only the usual media, but also racing drivers past and present and other famous faces turning up for the event. London’s Royal Horticultural Society halls were a perfect venue for such and grand occasion – very classic, very British, very… Lotus.
As well as bringing the you first pictures of the new Lotus F1 car, Badger’s podcast producer and host was at the event and spoke directly with Tony Fernandes, Mike Gascoyne and ex-McLaren driver, Heikki Kovalainen about the challenges ahead of the new Lotus team and while Gascoyne is saying he’s feeling like a teenager, Fernandes expresses his opinion on F1 as a global sport. List to the interviews below:[audio:Lotus-F1-Launch.mp3]
Why the “British Ferrari” you may ask – well back in the day, Lotus were just like Ferrari in that they built fast road cars, always beautiful, always quick and of course, at the heart of both these companies was racing – it was the whole point of them existing in the first place – road going cars were simply a spin-off. Unfortunately, come the mid-90s the Lotus name vanished from grand prix racing… seemingly forever, until now – with the Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes realising his dream of running a racing team and managing to bring back the Lotus name with full support of the Chapman family. You can read more on the team in our series of “new” F1 teams here: Lotus to position themselves at the front?
Back to the big launch event – Below is a rather long video, with Tony Fernandes’ entire speech, followed by the launch of the car.
If you just want to see the actual launch bit, you can here: Crikey! – It’s the new Lotus