Lotus will race with special logos on their car marking the team’s 500th Grand Prix start this weekend.
Clive Chapman, son of team founder Colin, will be present at the European Grand Prix as part of the celebrations.
It will be the ninth start for the current generation of the team, adding to the 491 it contested between 1958 and 1994. Of those, it won 79, making it the fourth most successful Grand Prix-winning constructor.
Jarno Trulli said:
It’ll be very special to help take that famous name to such a milestone, and I’m very honoured to be part of it.
I met [Colin's wife] Hazel Chapman on Sunday at the Classic Team Lotus Festival, and that was very special for me, particularly as I had the chance to drive Elio De Angelis’ T91 in front of the crowds, and that felt great.
Following its performance in Canada, where the new team was closest to the midfield than at any time previously this year, chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne confirmed Lotus will have further updates on the T127 this weekend.
Heikki Kovalainen said the team were no longer worried about comparisons with the other new outfits and have their sights set on catching the midfield runners:
The last few races have been very positive for our team, we’ve been making progress every weekend and the plan is to carry on pushing.
For Valencia, and for the rest of the season, we’re not looking back at the other new teams – we lapped them in Canada so we’re looking to keep taking the fight to the guys ahead, and I think we can do that.
This is obviously an historic weekend for Lotus, and for Lotus Racing, and I think we’re starting to do justice to what’s gone before us – it’s fantastic that we can celebrate such a great milestone in Valencia, and it’ll be an honour to be part of that.
Clive Chapman is eager to see the team his father created make progress:
Much as it is nice that Lotus Racing is celebrating 500th Grand Prix, I am sure the most important thing about the weekend for the team is that it is another race and the next opportunity to continue to make progress towards the established teams.
It was exciting to watch Montreal qualifying, when Heikki almost pipped the Sauber, and I for one would swap the 500th landmark for the landmark of outqualifying an established team in normal circumstances. Fingers crossed!
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