Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has set his sights on leapfrogging Red Bull in the Formula 1 pecking order at next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Lotus has enjoyed a far stronger start to the 2015 season after a miserable 2014 campaign, with the all-new E23 Hybrid car and Mercedes power unit breathing fresh life into the team’s fortunes.
After securing its first double-points finish of the year in Canada last weekend, Gastaldi is now backing the team to use this momentum to take the fight to Red Bull in Austria next weekend.
“Everyone is pushing hard,” Gastaldi said. “When you come to the factory at Enstone you realize how much potential there is and how much everyone is putting into our campaign.
“If you look at the teams ahead of us you have three very well resourced squads with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull and then Williams who are in their second year of their Mercedes partnership.
“We’re pushing hard and it’s Red Bull who are immediately ahead of us. They’ve had a stronger start to their season in terms of points scoring than us, but I feel that we’ve got our early season glitches and bugs out of the way; we should come on strong from here on.”
The gulf in pace between the bigger teams and privateer operations such as Lotus is often great due to the difference in funding and resources, but Gastaldi is only encouraged by the possibility of beating better-backed opposition.
“It’s true that most of our rivals ahead of us do have greater resources, but part of the Enstone spirit is being the underdog and prevailing against bigger enemies,” Gastaldi said.
“We know that Red Bull are ahead of us in the points and will be throwing all their resources at developing their car. We also know we’ll be doing everything we can to catch and beat them.”