Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne has said he is "very proud" of everyone at his team who helped the outfit deliver a race finish on its debut in Bahrain.
Gascoyne leads the effort that brought the Lotus name back into F1 with his new operation, and it achieved its ambitions by getting Heikki Kovalainen across the finish line, and Jarno Trulli classified as a finisher, too. With fellow new outfits Virgin Racing and HRT having both hit trouble with their cars, Gascoyne is delighted with the way things had turned out for his team.
"As we said, it does what it says on the tin," he told AUTOSPORT. "We said we would be a professional team, we would turn up, we would be ready and we would be reliable. Then we could work on the performance.
"I think actually in the race, the performance of our quickest lap was not too bad. A 2m02sec, while a lot of guys didn't get below two minutes. Our pace wasn't bad and we felt from all the running we had done actually that single-lap [times] were our problem, and we were better over longer runs. It was just good to get to the flag."
Gascoyne believes that his outfit grew up a lot over the course of the Bahrain weekend, and so was deserving of the end result.
"This is the worst we will do," said Gascoyne, who thinks it is onward and upward for Lotus. "We know we have a reliable car now, we know we need to put bits on it to make it quicker, but it has been a long six months.
"Everyone has worked so hard so it is a great lift for the team. And for Tony Fernandes, it's fantastic for him to get a great finish like that because he deserves it having put his neck on the line to back the team. I am just very, very proud of everyone."
With Gascoyne eager to push his team on, his says is target is now on closing the performance gap to Scuderia Toro Rosso over the forthcoming races.
"We have to start qualifying better," he said, "The Toro Rosso was the car ahead of us and the gap was a couple of seconds, but now, as is right in motor racing, we are focusing on the next team we have to beat. We have to close that gap down and start ticking that one off next."