Mid-season review: Lotus

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As the final new team to get its entry onto the 2010 grid confirmed, many is the person who would have thought their aim of being the best new team to be somewhat far-fetched, but to their credit they have been the fastest and most reliable of the three new outfits in F1 to date. Headed by Mike Gascoyne, the team has the right attitude, the right vision and the right spirit to succeed, and is continually showing the way among the new teams.

When they got their entry confirmed in mid-September 2009, just four people were working at the Lotus team. Nevertheless, they ran a hugely successful first test of the T127 on 17 February, just one week after Virgin Racing debuted their VR-01 despite having had their entry confirmed since June.The impressive pace and reliability of the T127 immediately became apparant and they brought both cars to the finish in their first race in Bahrain as both HRTs and Virgins retired.

Since then progress has been non-stop. Reliability problems with parts supplied by third parties, most notably the hydraulics, gives the impression of a sub-standard car, but couldn't be further from the truth. At the most recent race in Hungary, the slowest Lotus finished over 26 seconds clear of the fastest Virgin, and even though Lotus has moved most of its efforts onto the 2011 car there's no sign of them letting up in the battle at the back.