Gastaldi targeting points to kick-start new era at Lotus

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Federico Gastaldi wants Lotus F1 Team to start a new era at Enstone by finishing in the points at next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

After picking up race wins in 2012 and 2013, Lotus dropped towards the back of the field last year thanks to the troublesome E22 car and its Renault power unit, limiting it to just ten points in 20 races.

However, widespread changes have since been made, with Mercedes coming on board as an engine partner and an overhaul of the car design taking place ahead of the new season.

Deputy team principal Gastaldi has now set his sights on the team picking up some points in Australia to get 2015 and the new era at Lotus off to a good start.

“Points would be great,” Gastaldi said when asked what his goal was for Melbourne. “Certainly this is our aim from every race this year.

“Albert Park can be a difficult mistress as it’s a non-permanent race track and the Melbourne weather can always play tricks on you, but we want to run reliably and show strong pace across the weekend.

“If I see that and we open our points account I’ll consider that a good start to a new era for Enstone.”

Lotus has made a good start to 2015 by impressing throughout pre-season testing in Spain, giving everyone at the team a boost ahead of the first race.

“We’re eager and excited,” Gastaldi said. “The Australian Grand Prix represents the start of a new era for us as we embark on a new journey with Mercedes as a partner. We’ve seen positive things through pre-season testing so we can’t wait to be tested in the heat of competition.

“We have a dedicated team at Enstone who have been working very hard to put the challenges of last year behind us and they’ve created an exciting new car in the E23 Hybrid.

“We have two race drivers who are very motivated to perform and a great set-up and infrastructure which has enjoyed considerable success in the past. We’re ready to be fighting for points at every turn.”