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30 October 2009
1Malaysia F1 Team appoints CEO
The 1Malaysia F1 Tea (1MF1T today announced the appointment of its Chief Executive Officer in Malaysian Riad Asmat, 38.
The announcement was made by Team Principal Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes during a media conference held at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) here today.
Fernandes said: “The Team is proud to announce the appointment of Riad Asmat to lead the management of the 1Malaysia F1 Team and the racing team, Lotus F1 Racing. Riad’s expertise that is a good blend of both corporate experience and motorsports knowledge will provide the dynamic and success-‐oriented leadership that the Malaysian team requires. I am confident that his knowledge of motorsports coupled with his vast experience will contribute the success of the 1Malaysia F1 Team.”
Prior to his appointment as CEO of 1MF1T, Riad was attached to the Managing Director’s Office of Proton Holdings Berhad as General Manager.
Riad said: "F1 is very competitve and it operates in an extremely challenging environment. In this respect, the focus will be on teamwork and its importance can never be overstressed. All of us in the 1MF1T understand that this is a very important first step for the nation. We will make it our key objective to build a very strong and robust foundation moving forward.”
1MF1T, through Lotus F1 Racing, is set to debut at the FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2010 season.
Meanwhile, the Team has also appointed another senior role within the team’s organisation and also the employment of key Malaysian staff.
A Chief Operating Officer has been selected to manage the technical organisation in the UK reporting directly to Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne.
Keith Saunt has been appointed in the UK-based Chief Operating Officer role with the task of overseeing technical operations on a day-to-day basis at the team’s current facility in Hingham. Keith has over 20 years worth of experience in Formula 1 including senior roles with Team Lotus International, Benetton, Renault and most recently Red Bull Racing, where he held the role of Chief Operating Officer and Director of Red Bull Technology.
The team also hopes to announce shortly a senior Malaysian executive in a similar position to oversee the development and running of its new Malaysian facility.
Lotus F1 Racing has also signed an agreement with Formula 1’s Official Tyre Supplier Bridgestone. Appointed by the FIA, Bridgestone will provide slick Potenza tyres to all teams for the 2010 championship.
On these appointments, Tony Fernandes said: “I am extremely pleased and proud with the important developments that we have made since our entry was confirmed by the FIA back in September. The Malaysian character of our team is of paramount importance and we have undertaken an intensive period of recruitment in Malaysia in recent weeks. Mike Gascoyne came to Kuala Lumpur in order to personally oversee this process and help to select the most suitable personnel for our team. “ 2 “I am pleased that Keith Saunt is joining us at Hingham reporting directly to Mike. It is a testament to our ambitions and overall organisation that we can attract such a high calibre of staff. We have also recently reached an agreement with Formula 1’s appointed tyre supplier Bridgestone for the supply of Potenza tyres to our team for next season. Everything is coming together nicely and I am excited with every step we take on the way to our first season in Formula 1 in 2010,” added Fernandes.
Mike Gascoyne said: “The week I spent interviewing potential staff in Malaysia was very encouraging for the ongoing development of Lotus F1 Racing. The composition of any team is a vital for its success, so it has been positive to see so many talented people apply for jobs. We have hired Keith Saunt in Chief Operating Officer role based on his engineering experience and automotive background and I am sure he will be of huge benefit to our team. Windtunnel testing is now fully underway and we are about to embark on the lay-‐up of our first chassis, so we are making significant progress.”