Mark Smith gets down to work at Team Lotus
Mark Smith finally started work as Team Lotus' new technical director on Monday – and is already setting his sights high at Hingham's Formula One outfit.
Former Force India designer Smith agreed to join the 2010 new boys in June, but was required to see out his contract with Team Lotus' Silverstone rivals before taking up his new role.
Now Smith, who can count Jordan, Renault and Red Bull among his former employers, can get on with the task in hand – where he will report to Norwich-born chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne.
'I am very excited about the challenge that lies ahead with Team Lotus,' said Smith, who will join development of this season's charger, the T128, as well as starting work on the Norfolk constructor's 2012 car.
'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.
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'Throughout my career I have had some interesting spells with a number of F1 teams 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.
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'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.'