It was a good day for Lotus Racing, the only new team to finish the race and not only that, but finish with both cars.
Heikki Kovalainen managed P15, whilst his teammate, Jarno Trulli suffered a hydraulic problem, but managed to nurse the car to the end, finishing P17.
“I’m really happy and proud for the team because in six months every single target we have fixed we have met so it’s really good, and, as Tony said, one day Lotus will win and I hope to be here when we do,” said Trulli.
Heikki Kovalainen was also full of praise for the team’s effort’s, but realises the hard work has only just begun, as the team now need to concentrate on improving their pace.
“Everybody in the team should be really happy but now the honeymoon is over and we need to start working on better results.”
“I’m very very proud of the whole team. Everyone here, and back in Hingham. Firstly I have to say thank you to both drivers. They drove great races – Jarno struggling early on but when he changed to the soft tyre he was much more competitive. Apologies to Heikki because he may have suffered from the strategy, and apologies to Jarno because he had a hydraulics problem and he had to slow down to get the car to the finish, but overall a great result,” added Mike Gascoyne.
The happiest man at Lotus was team principal Tony Fernandes. His team stole a march on the other new teams, with both Hispania and Virgin having failed to make the end of the race with either car.
“I’m completely over the moon! I cannot describe the feeling. Six months of work and to have both cars finish is just unbelievable.
“We’re thrilled, we’re happy and the spirit in the team is fantastic. I’m really proud of Jarno and of Heikki and everyone here. It’s a great start and better than I could have dreamt of. We wanted to finish the race and to do so ahead of established teams is fantastic.
“From here we keep going. Before the race Clive Chapman gave me Colin Chapman’s old Lotus cap and said ‘when you win the first race you’ll be the man to throw this up in the air like my Dad used to.’ That meant a lot to me, it was a wonderful gesture and it’s like handing over the mantle of one of motor racing’s great dynasties”