Lotus boss Tony Fernandes was delighted after the team got both its cars to the finish of the Bahrain Grand Prix on its first outing.
Lotus was the only of the new teams to have a car at the chequered flag, after Heikki Kovalainen finished in 15th position, a lap down on race winner Fernando Alonso. Teammate Jarno Trulli was classified in 17th three laps down after being hit by a hydraulic problem late in the race.
"I'm completely over the moon," said Fernandes. "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."
Technical chief Mike Gascoyne said he was very proud of the team following the result.
"I'm very very proud of the whole team," said Gascoyne. "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 tire 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."
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