Saturday October 31, 2009
CEO Riad ready for 1Malaysia F1 Team challenge
PETALING JAYA: Riad Asmat has been thrust into the limelight after being appointed as the chief executive officer for the new 1Malaysia F1 Team by team principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes yesterday.
And Riad, who was formerly attached to the managing director’s office of Proton Holdings Berhad as general manager, is more than happy to accept the challenge of being part of the newest team on the Formula One world championships.
“I see the responsiblity as not just one single person but working with the whole team,” said Riad yesterday.
“It’s a big challenge and F1 is very competitve as 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 1Malaysia Racing Team understand that this is a very important first step for the nation.”
He is also confident that the team would be able to place the cars on the starting grid in the opening round in Bahrain next March.
“The building of the car is ahead of schedule by three days and we should be testing them next February at the Sepang Circuit,” he said.
The team will be known as Lotus F1 Racing when they make their debut in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2010 season.
The team have also appointed Keith Saunt as the chief operating officer to manage the technical organisation in the United Kingdom, He will report directly to chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne.
Saunt has over 20 years experience in Formula One, 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.