Lotus: Two years of hard work paid off
28 November, 2011
Nov.27 (Team Lotus) Team and drivers review their Brazilian Grand Prix, 19th and final round of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship, at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo.
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “Thank you to everyone for another excellent weekend for the team where I don’t think we could have got anything more from the whole package. All afternoon the car felt great and we managed to make the most of the performance we put in yesterday in qualifying. I had another great start today, they’ve really been excellent for some time now, and from there I got straight into a good rhythm right throughout the whole race. I had a few issues with the blue flags towards the end, with so many cars coming around it kind of messes with your own race, but that’s just something you have to deal with. All year we’ve kept on progressing and we’ve finished on a real high with that tenth place so we’re set us up perfectly for next year where we can take another step forward in the development of this team.”
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “For me it was a pretty standard race. I didn’t have a great start but was easily ahead of the cars we needed to beat today and it was really just about getting the car home in one piece so we could seal our place in the championship. I want to thank the whole team for the work they’ve done this weekend and all year. We keep on progressing and it’s great to be part of something that shows real signs of where it can go.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “That was a good race for us. Both drivers were able to maintain their positions which was not such an easy task because of the amount of activity on track, but they finished where we aimed for and that was what was all important. What I do want to talk about is the relationship between Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1. We have had a very good year in terms of how our partnership has developed. The whole team were very easy to work with right from day one and we have put ourselves in a very good position to keep moving forward next year.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I think that is a great way to end the season and secure tenth place. It was a tense afternoon for us with all the possible weather changes, but the conditions held off and we had the sort of race we have been putting in for much of this year. Both drivers were pushing all afternoon – with Jarno we put him on a two stop race which meant he had to look after his tyres. That might have ended up costing him some time, but with Heikki we ran a three stop race and he brought his car home where we thought he could. Really though today is about doing the job for our shareholders and our partners, in particular Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology who have played such a key role in today’s success. Congratulations to our shareholders for the rewards we have now gained from finishing tenth for two seasons running. They deserve this success for the incredible support they give us every day and we will keep working hard to make them proud.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “Almost tears for me today! I am absolutely overjoyed. Two years of hard work have paid off today and it was great to see both cars home safely, helping us win tenth place. The icing on the cake was beating a Renault – that meant a lot to me as I have always said the good guys do win. We have a fantastic little team here, and some incredible partners in GE, Dell, Intel, APC and CNN and I know how much it means to each and every person associated with us to have finished this season where we wanted to. Now we look forward to our new life as Caterham F1 Team and we say goodbye to Team Lotus. Colin – we hope we did you proud and we hope you keep an eye over us as Caterham F1 Team. We know we will do you proud there as well.”