In a fabulous interview with ESPN, the ever free talking Mike Gascoyne turned the Melbourne air blue and rounded on the critics of the news teams. The Lotus F1 Technical Director is not nicknamed “The Bulldog” for no reason, yet he does show his sympathetic side when discussing the chances of Hispania Racing catching the pack during the season.
“We always said we’d be here, be professional and reliable, and we’ve done what we said we’d do” Gascoyne said. ” Now we’ll get on and make it quick. For those who said new teams shouldn’t be here, when you saw Heikki fighting with Hulkenberg, well… we’re here, we’re racing … f*** you!”
The interview also revealed great insight into the difficulties of starting up a new team and building a car in such a short time space.
When asked if there were times if he thought the team would not make it to Bahrain, he responded “No, there were times that I worried what state it would be in, but never a worry that we wouldn’t be here. Perversely, what you might think was the difficult bit – the car – was always on target. It was the ancillary things – getting the people in time, the 25 tonnes of freight… When you’re an established team, you don’t notice it. But when everything turns up via the back door in one go, you realise there’s a lot of it. I mean, all of that turned up in the last month. At Christmas we were still only 20 people.”
He also gave his opinion if he thinks USF1 should be allowed to compete next year. “The FIA have to be fair and open a tendering process, and in that process you have to view people’s past performance. I think it could be very important for F1 to have a team based in the US and raise the sport’s profile in the States. Therefore, I think it’s a great shame [that USF1 were unable to make the grid this year], because we know better than anyone how difficult it is. But it doesn’t reflect well on the sport.”
Gascoyne also has sympathy regarding Hispania Racing Teams situation when responding to the question about the possibility of the re-introduction of the 107% rule.
“We’re well inside 107%, so we don’t give a shit!”There’s no testing. So how the hell are HRT meant to get on the pace if you say ‘no you can’t race’? It shows that the entry process needs to be longer. I mean, we got it done very professionally, but I’m sure if we’d had a year we’d be racing Sauber and Toro Rosso in the midfield.”
There are certainly many people who are disappointed that Gascoyne’s Lotus T107 is still some way off the front of the grid, however, in Gascoynes own words, “Our aim will be to finish and steadily but surely improve, race by race.” He has certain achieved that with a virtually unbreakable car. Now, he has to find the pace.