Chester confident Lotus can compete with Red Bull

Leave a comment

Lotus F1 Team technical director Nick Chester is confident that the team can compete with former world champions Red Bull at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix thanks to a significant upgrade package for the E23 Hybrid car.

After enduring a miserable 2014 season, Lotus has bounced back at the start of 2015, scoring 12 points in the first four races and regularly running inside the top ten.

In contrast, Red Bull has struggled with its Renault power unit, recording a best finish of sixth place in the first four races of the year to mark its worst start to a season since 2008.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Chester spoke about the fine margins between the midfield runners in F1 at the moment, and expressed his confidence in Lotus’ ability to race with Red Bull.

“It’s pretty competitive in the midfield and fighting to be at the head of the chasing pack,” Chester said. “Mercedes are still the team to beat this season although Ferrari is giving them a chase at the moment.

“There is a fairly big gap to Willliams who are followed by Red Bull and us – there is a smaller gap there and we can race them.”

Deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi said earlier this week that Lotus would be bringing updates to Barcelona that would “open some eyes”, and Chester echoed these comments.

“It will be an interesting weekend as many teams will bring decent upgrades to the first European race of the season and we are working on bringing a reasonably significant package in terms of bodywork upgrades ourselves,” Chester said.

“There’s a certain amount of anticipation to see what everyone turns up with. In terms of our expectations, there’s nothing to say that we shouldn’t have another strong race in Barcelona, just as we did in China and Bahrain.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN on May 10.

Formula One names Stefano Domenicali as its new CEO

Stefano Domenicali named F1 CEO
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Former Ferarri chief Stefano Domenicali was named the new president and CEO of F1, replacing Chase Carey in January 2021, Liberty Media announced Friday.

Domenicali, 55, will join Formula One from Lamborghini, where he had been CEO and president.

He worked on Ferrari’s F1 team for nearly 20 years, becoming the team principal in 2008. He left in 2014 and worked at Audi before joining Lamborghini.

HISTORY IN SIGHT: Lewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

“I am thrilled to join the Formula 1 organization, a sport that has always been part of my life,” Domenicali said in a release. “I was born in Imola and live in Monza.  I’ve remained connected to the sport through my work with the Single Seater Commission at the FIA and I look forward to connecting with the teams, promoters, sponsors and many partners in Formula 1 as we continue to drive the business ahead.

“The past six years at Audi and then leading Lamborghini have given me broader perspective and experience that I will bring to Formula 1.”

Carey, who had led F1 since Liberty’s Formula One Group took control of the organization in 2017, will move to the role of non-executive chairman.

“Chase has done a phenomenal job leading F1,” Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement. “He assembled a first-class commercial and sporting organization that has a long list of achievements, including broadening the appeal of the sport, growing its digital presence, establishing new technical regulations, securing a cost cap for the first time and reaching a new more equitable Concorde agreement with the teams.  His actions have reinforced F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport.”

Said Carey: “It has been an honor to lead Formula 1, a truly global sport with a storied past over the last seventy years. I’m proud of the team that’s not only navigated through an immensely challenging 2020 but returned with added purpose and determination in the areas of sustainability, diversity and inclusion.  I’m confident that we’ve built the strong foundation for the business to grow over the long term.”