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Smith begins work as Lotus technical director 16 May 2011

Mark Smith (GBR), Force India F1 Design Director. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday 10 February 2010. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128 retires from the race. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lotus announced on Monday that Mark Smith has started work at the Anglo-Malaysian team’s UK factory as technical director. Smith’s signing was announced last June, but the British engineer had to then work out his notice period with Force India. He reports to Mike Gascoyne, Lotus’s chief technical officer.

“I am very excited about the challenge that lies ahead with Team Lotus,” said Smith. “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."

Smith completes the Lotus 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 team’s 2012 car.

“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,” continued Smith. “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.”

Commenting on the addition of Smith to the Lotus line-up, team principal Tony Fernandes said: “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.”

Lotus have made a positive start to 2011, comfortably out-performing their regular 2010 rivals Virgin and HRT. Though yet to score this season, they lie ninth in the constructors’ table, one place above Williams.

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