Lotus drivers happy with 'enjoyable' race

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Europe, Valencia Street Circuites

Both drivers at team Lotus were fairly happy with their races after a somewhat disappointing qualifying. Heikki and Jarno finished today's race that saw nobody retire in 20th and 21st positions. Neither of them had any technical problems with their car throughout the afternoon.

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 - Chassis T128-04:
“For me that was a very good race. I’m happy that we seem to have regained the early season form after Monaco and Canada where I wasn’t really feeling too comfortable in the car. Today the conditions were pretty hot out there but I felt good all afternoon - I’ve prepared myself physically for this sort of heat so it wasn’t hard at all to push right to the end. I didn’t have any issues and after we went to the three stop strategy I was able to keep up a good pace after each stop. We know where we have to improve the car to keep taking the fight to the teams ahead, and that will come in time, but this is a long-term plan and we are definitely on the right course. ”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 - Chassis T128-01:
“That was a good race for me. We tried a couple of different strategies to cover all our options and even though my second set was gone by the end I definitely enjoyed myself out there. This was always going to be a track where we knew we would have to keep pushing to get anything out of it, but it’s satisfying for the team to get both cars to the end and be well clear of the cars behind us.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader:
“Engine-wise that was a good race. Valencia is a track that is hard on both engine temperatures and fuel consumption and we managed both elements well on both cars. The maps we used gave the drivers the right options today which helped when we split the strategies as we did not suffer any drop in performance as a result of the switch.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer:
“A very solid race from both drivers. We had considered two stops on both cars but when we saw higher degradation levels on Heikki’s car we put him onto three and kept Jarno on two to give both of them a chance to fight. Jarno nearly passed Heikki in the final stops but Heikki’s fresh rubber gave him the chance to edge ahead and the key goal today was to make sure they both finished, so I am pleased we achieved that. This has not been our most competitive type of track but despite that we finished well and that sets us up nicely for Silverstone.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal:
"A pretty good day for us. I am happy both cars finished but as we are steadily increasing our competitiveness it would have been good to have finished a bit higher. It is obviously a big challenge for us to find the 0.5 seconds that will propel us towards the midfield teams, but we have the right elements in place to help us do that. We will find more downforce and we will continue to grow, both in experience and in pace, and that is why I see days like today as another step in the right direction."