Lotus aim to finish first GP

Lotus will be hoping to get to the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix, after a solid start to its F1 program. Although neither Jarno Trulli or Heikki Kovalainen could conjure up any of the magic from Lotus of old, both drivers were happy with their efforts and are aiming to finish the Grand Prix to cap off a respectable debut.

Jarno Trulli (20th): “All in all not too bad considering the amount of running we had this morning. We had some bad luck this weekend but the team has operated very well, in a very professional way, and we just need a bit more time to make the step forward we need in terms of performance. Tomorrow we need to try and finish the race, collect some useful data to find out more about what is right and wrong with the way the car behaves, and make that our main aim – finishing.”

Heikki Kovalainen (21st): “Pretty much what we expected. The car was very reliable, which is good, and the performance was roughly where we knew we’d be. I’m reasonably happy it probably isn’t the best qualifying lap I’ve ever done, and maybe I didn’t get everything out of it I should have done, but we have a good base to work from tomorrow. In practice yesterday the car felt like it would be good over long runs, and with the good reliability we have had we’ll see what happens tomorrow. The most important thing is to finish the race, and then we’ll see where we are.”

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer: “It’s a little bit mixed emotions today 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.”

Tony Fernandes: “I’m happy, very very happy. It was fantastic to see Lotus back on the grid after a 16 year absence, and with the potential for so many things to have gone wrong, it’s just great to have finished our first qualifying session. Jarno broke the two minute mark and that’s a great achievement in itself.”