Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne said it was a day of mixed emotions for his team after its first qualifying session in Bahrain. Drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen qualified in 20th and 21st positions, respectively, and the duo were out-qualified by the Virgin of Timo Glock, who gave his team the best position for a new team today.
Meanwhile, the team appeared set to forge a relationship with former Lotus great Mario Andretti, who was on hand in Bahrain to drive parade laps in the JPS Lotus 79 with which he won the 1978 World Championship.
"There might become a little bit more of an involvement on my part, because they seem to be very proud of the brand that obviously they are there representing," the 70-year-old Andretti told reporters of Lotus F1. Asked to specify what his involvement would be, Andretti replied, "We'll see – stay tuned."
Gascoyne admitted he was sorry to miss out on being the fastest of the new teams on the team's official debut, but said he was pleased with the team effort considering the short time it had to prepare for its first race.
"It's a little bit mixed emotions today," said Gascoyne, "we wanted to be the best of the new teams, and we just missed out on that by a fraction, but as the last of the new teams to have been given an entry, only six months ago, it's a fantastic effort by the whole team to have finished our first qualifying session. We now look forward to the race and with the strength of our reliability, and two very experienced race drivers, now it's all about finishing."
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