Gastaldi: Everyone in the Lotus team is working very hard
"Everyone keeps smiling and keeps focused on the task at hand"
After both cars went the distance in Bahrain, Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi wants to see the team’s efforts rewarded with points in China.
Where do you see the team at present ?
There has obviously been a performance improvement since the start of the season and there are good positives for the future and our development. Both cars ran without reliability issues to finish the Bahrain Grand Prix and but for an incident Pastor should have been in the points. That was a positive in relation to how we started the year. There is still a lot of work to do, however, and we have many new parts for the car and a lot of performance to be found.
How do you motivate the team after such a tough start ?
Everyone in the team is working very hard so of course it’s been frustrating not to get the rewards everyone deserves. But we are all natural fighters. The response internally to our start to the year has been incredibly positive. Everyone keeps smiling and keeps focused on the task at hand so it’s been a big ‘thumbs-up’ in terms of motivation for the challenge ahead. This attitude gives us a real positive vibe. We know the task and we are motivated to get where we want to be. We will keep pushing relentlessly. I knew from my past role at the team just how dedicated everyone is, but now I’m more closely involved at all the races I must say I’ve been amazed at the intensity of this attitude. We’ve all been working like crazy since Australia, day and night, to make things happen, so it’s a big thank you to everyone in the race team and back at the factory for this incredible effort.
How much of a comeback can the team make ?
We are a race team so we are here to win, but we are also realistic. It would be fantastic to think that we could make a major step forward and fight at the sharp end, but it’s too early in the season to talk about where we will be at the end of the year. Our first step is to get our cars in the points. Once we’re in the points, we’ll be hungry to make further steps quickly.
How important is it for Formula 1 to race in China ?
It is certainly important for us. We have tried from day one to get the attention from the Chinese audience in both a sporting and commercial way. We believe that China is both the present and the future. It is obviously a huge market to explore commercially so I think it’s very important for the business side of Formula 1. Certainly we’ve seen a growing fan base in China over the years and we have a lot of younger fans there which illustrates a great future for the sport.
When do you expect the team to be able to make significant steps in terms of performance ?
We’re all pushing for good improvements at every race but it’s no secret that both us and our power unit partners - Renault Sport F1 - have a lot planned for the start of the European season in Barcelona. From our perspective we have many, many new parts to test on the car, so reliability is key to be able to test and develop these parts. No one is happy with where we are performance-wise at the moment and there’s no question of any of us accepting this status quo. We’re all pushing hard to be faster and we will do this together.