Lotus have appointed Federico Gastaldi to the role of Deputy Team Principal.
It had been reported that Citroen rally chief Olivier Quesnel, or perhaps even ousted McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh, would be drafted in to fill the hole left by Eric Boullier’s departure.
But the Enstone team announced on Friday that Argentinean Gastaldi has in fact secured the job, with his role officially called ‘Deputy Team Principal’.
Team owner Genii’s Gerard Lopez is still the Chairman and, at least nominally, the Team Principal.
Gastaldi has been promoted from within, having served until now as Director of Business Development, but his history dates all the way back to the Benetton days.
“Federico was instrumental in nurturing our relationship with PDVSA and he continues to be a vital link for us with Venezuela,” said Lopez. “As a figurehead, no one better embodies the Lotus team spirit.”
Federico Gastaldi Q&A
How are you approaching your new role?
Gastaldi: It’s a great honour and I’m looking forward to it. I have a long history with Enstone with my previous role of Director of Business Development and then before that in the Benetton days. The team is an exceptional place to be and the depth of talent is amazing. My approach will be to ensure that we get the most out of every aspect of Enstone and harness every talent housed there.
What qualities do you bring to the party?
Gastaldi: I have worked in many roles in the motorsport arena, from an introduction as a friend and associate of the Benetton family to promoting the Argentinean Grand Prix, to working with drivers to working with Bernie on different projects. I like working with people in and around the paddock as it’s a challenging and rewarding place to be.
What do you consider to be the main strengths of Lotus F1 team?
Gastaldi: Our people. They are our main strength and our biggest asset. We have tremendous depth of talent with fantastically experienced workers at all levels who are 100 percent committed to the team.
What do you see as your immediate challenges?
Gastaldi: We need to ensure rapid progress with our car for this season. It’s no secret that pre-season preparations have not been as smooth as we’d like but we have confidence that we can turn this situation around very quickly. We need to work as closely as possible with Renault to fulfil our potential. We know it is a big challenge, especially because there is so much technology that is new to everyone, but we know the team can deliver good cars and we will do this in 2014 with Renault. (GMM-Lotus)
Subbed by AJN.