Hingham, UK, 16 May 2011 – Team Lotus has announced today that Mark Smith has started work at the Anglo-Malaysian team’s Hingham, UK factory on his first day as Technical Director. Reporting to Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne, Mark completes the technical department and joins Lewis Butler (Chief Designer), Marianne Hinson (Head of Aerodynamics), Dieter Gass (Deputy Technical Director) and Elliot Dason-Barber (Head of R&D and Vehicle Dynamics) to continue the development of the T128 and begin work on the 2012 car.
Mark Smith: “I am very excited about the challenge that lies ahead with Team Lotus. This is the first time I have been in the factory and I am very impressed with what I have seen across all the departments. Throughout my career I have had some interesting spells with a number of F1 teams including Jordan, Renault, Red Bull Racing and Force India and I have enjoyed the experience of winning races wherever I have been. However, I have never been involved in a Championship win with any of those teams and I see that as one of my key goals with Team Lotus. I was genuinely impressed at how this team reached the 2010 grid with a good functional car and a professional looking operation in such a short time. That was a huge achievement and they have built upon that in 2011, so the foundations are there for long-term success and I am looking forward to helping the team achieve its goals for many seasons to come.”
Team Lotus Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat: “This is another very positive step forward for Team Lotus. Mark’s appointment is a real statement of intent and Mark is someone Mike and a number of our senior design and engineering team have extensive experience of working with. Mike, Mark, Lewis, Marianne and Chief Engineer Jody Egginton have worked together at a number of front-running F1 teams which means our core technical team has extensive experience of working together. This gives us a very solid platform for the future development of the team and marks the next stage in the Team Lotus story.”
Team Lotus Team Principal Tony Fernandes has always believed that people are at the heart of all the businesses he is involved with. He echoed Riad’s comments, saying: “Team Lotus is a long-term project and since we first started in September 2009 we have been focusing on laying the foundations for sustained success. Mike’s long-term deal with us is an integral part of that plan and we continue to make the right investments to give him the tools to take us to the front of the grid, and Mark Smith is another good example of that strategy. Mark joins a group of extremely talented, passionate and hard working people at Team Lotus who have already enjoyed a number of significant achievements in a short period of time, and his input will immediately help us take our challenge to the next level this year, in 2012 and beyond.”