Q & A with Mike Gascoyne

Q. You've been working away for several weeks now, and recently showed some pictures of your wind tunnel model. How are preparations going for next year?

Q & A with Mike Gascoyne

Mike Gascoyne: Yeah, as always, some areas are going well and some other areas are a bit slower. But in general, car-wise, we are pretty much on target.

We started laying up the first chassis last week, which is bang on schedule. That will be in the workshop in the first week of January, so we are on target for a shakedown in the second week of February. That is what we always intended, which was good.

With the wind tunnel model, we went testing with that in the last week or so, so that programme is up and running and making a lot of progress early on. Technically we are in good shape. With employing people, that is all happening. There is just a lot to do. The ancillaries, drivers, contracts, commercial matters, it is that that is snowing us under.

Q. So is it fair to say that the car is the easy bit for you, it is arranging everything else that is the problem?

MG: It is never easy, it is the drama it is always going to be. But that is sort of under control. It is getting everything else set up. We have got good people and they are pushing on it. It will happen, but it will always be the inevitable drama. But, it is all so exciting - and great fun.

Q. Regarding your driver situation, Jarno Trulli has been strongly linked with the team. What can you say about that?

MG: We are looking for two drivers with experience. We are not looking for pay drivers or new drivers. We think that is very important for the team. What is becoming clear to everyone of the new teams, is that we have gone from last to first of the new teams very rapidly. We are being seen as a serious entity. We have got quite a lot of interest, but we want two experienced drivers there.

Q. Is Trulli top of your list?

MG: He is one of the guys we would like to. Jarno has, over one lap, always been sensational. That is even more important in a new team because you need to know where you are on a Saturday. Jarno can always give you that.

Q. You've worked with him at Jordan and Renault...

MG: I've always got on well with Jarno, and know how to work with him. He enjoys working with me too, so he is definitely an option.

Q. And you spoke to Jacques Villeneuve in Abu Dhabi?

MG: Yes. It is nice that we are getting interest from experienced people. There will be a few people who drop off the established teams and we are being seen as the best option after that, which is good.

Q. When do you hope to nail down the drivers?

MG: We hope by the end of November. We don't want to be hanging around, we want to be proactive in what we are doing, rather than reactive. That is something we want to tie up pretty soon.

Q. What is the situation regarding Lotus' signing of the Concorde Agreement?

MG: I think by the end of the week, we should be there. That has been very much ongoing and there have been, not hiccups, but things that needed sorting out. I had some very good meetings with Simone Perillo [FOTA general secretary] in Abu Dhabi, and I think there will be a lot happening.

Q. Can you explain what is the situation regarding Force India having concerns about your wind-tunnel model being a copy of its car?

MG: Obviously our wind-tunnel model was designed for us by Fondtech in Italy. It is based around a 2010 chassis, there is a big fuel volume in it, has a Cosworth engine, Xtrac gearbox, our suspension, and other stuff. Then the Fondmetal guys put some generic bodywork on, and some of them had been working on different projects.

Whereas you cannot copy anything or take anyone else's IP, you can use your expertise - and you will base that on what you know and what directions you know has been happening. That is what has happened.

Q. You said when you launched the team that you wanted to be the best of the new teams. Are you still confident of that happening?

MG: I think that is not our target any more. That is a given, and now we are aiming at the bottom of the established teams. We want to be as close as possible to them.

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