Team Lotus can look back with a big smile to this afternoon's Chinese Grand Prix as both Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli took the chequered flag at Shanghai. With a 16th and 19th place, beating a Sauber and Williams, the joins the midfield.
Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - qualified 19th, finished 16th: "That is our best ever performance. It's not the highest place we've had but today we beat two midfield cars in a straight fight so I am very happy, with my performance and the performance of the whole team. We knew we would struggle in the cool conditions yesterday but today the temperatures rose and we expected to be able to put in the sort of race that would do justice to the pace that is in the car. We will keep working hard to improve the car's behaviour in the cooler conditions and we can only get better from here."
Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - qualified 20th, finished 19th: "I had a good start and then Heikki and I were able to pull away from the cars behind and keep to the strategy to fight with the guys ahead. My first stop wasn't great and I'm still having a few issues with the tyre degradation but really today is about the team result. We have shown we are developing exactly as we want to and that's a huge motivation for everyone."
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "That is a very good result for the whole team and it is important we enjoy it. The key goal today was to get both cars across the finish line and to achieve that, and beat both Perez and Maldonado is a big step forward for us. A very satisfying day."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "That was an absolutely fantastic race from both drivers and from the pitcrew who performed brilliantly under huge pressure. It is very satisfying to have beaten two other midfield teams on track on pace and strategy and to be able to show that we have bridged the gap to the established teams. Both drivers made a good start and with the higher track temperatures we knew our race pace would be good, and so it proved. With the tyre degradation we were able to stick to two stops, which was always our plan and that allowed us to jump a couple of people, giving us our strongest race in F1. Additionally, we were only lapped once, right towards the end of the race, so I am very proud of the whole team today.”
Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "I am actually lost for words. We were racing today, actually taking on teams who have been in the sport for many years, and even though there is a huge amount of work ahead of us, now we need to enjoy this moment, build on this feeling and keep moving forwards."