On 12 September 2009, the race against time begins. After an extremely late approval from the FIA, exactly six months remain until the start of the 2010 season for Lotus Racing to bring a vehicle to the starting grid.
The original Lotus Racing timetable was based on receiving permission to start in the first allocation round in June 2009, which the team from this renowned com- pany did not however obtain. Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne did not let this discourage him though, and after the withdrawal of BMW, on 12 September Lotus Racing received the sought-after starting position as the 14th team for the Formula 1 2010 season, exactly six months before the first race.
At this point in time, Lotus Racing is little more than a legendary name. To meet the tight deadline, the team must build a competitive racing car within five months.
The question is: will the new Lotus team complete the car in time for the start of the season? And how do you build a Formula 1 car in just five months?
At the starting line
In order to manage the project successfully in the short amount of time available, Lotus Racing brings capricorn on board for the chassis construction and all of the com- posite work. “capricorn is a well-known supplier, and we know they can deliver the quality we need; we do not have time for even the smallest of errors,” explains Chief Technical Officer Gascoyne.
As a proven supplier, capricorn provides the neces- sary expertise for the production of all primary structures of the Lotus Cosworth T127. Composite fibre technology is the focus at the production site near the Nürburgring, a technology which is of key importance in Formula 1. Composite materials demonstrate extremely high strength and durability, while at the same time being incredibly lightweight.
To produce the individual chassis and panel compo- nents of the racing car, capricorn first produces master models. With 5-axis milling machines and using CAD data, completely computer-controlled models are milled. From these, the capricorn composite experts then form the laminating tools in negative in order to start actual production of the racing car chassis.
Composite fibre technology