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Lotus Racing – Success in Bahrain

by F1Fan on March 15, 2010

The Lotus Racing Team must be pretty happy with their performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix actually finishing ahead of a few of the more established names in Formula One.

Heikki Kovalainen finished in 15th place just behind Nico Hulenberg in the Wiliams Fw30 and ahead of Sebastien Buemi in the Torro Rosso, and Jarno Trulli, driving with a Hydraulic problem for the later part of the race nursed his car home to a 17th place finish, the cast car to actually finish the Grand Prix, before having tostop out on track after taking the checkered flag.

Compared to last seasons races attrition was very high especially among the other two new teams, Karun Chandkok crashed out after loosing control of his HRT in the new twisty loop section of the Bahrain circuit during his second lap of the race, severely damaging the front wing and nose cone of the car, with only 4 laps of track time under his belt he was still learning the circuit and was caught out by the unusually bumpy surface in this new section of track.

Lap 3 saw the Virgin Racing VR-01 of Lucas Di Grassi pulling of track with hydraulic problems and then it was the turn of Kamui Kobayashi to suffer hydraulic problems in his BMW Sauber C29 making it only to Lap 12 before loosing his power steering and the ability to shift gear.

Lap 13 saw Vitaly Petrov’s Renault R30 retire with suspension damage after running over a high kerb in turn 12, Virgin Racings Timo Glock retired not long after with gearbox problems on lap 18 after initially loosing 3rd and  then 5th gear.

Bruno Senna in the other HRT car only made it one lap further pulling off the circuit with apparent engine failure, lastly while fighting for eleventh place Pedro De La Rosa in the second BMW Sauber F1 C29 was called into the pits on Lap 29 because of another Hydraulic problem for the team where he retired from the race.

Summing up the lotus teams performance Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne said:

“I’m very very proud of the whole team. Everyone here, and back in Hingham. Firstly I have to say thank you to both drivers. They drove great races – Jarno struggling early on but when he changed to the soft tyre he was much more competitive. Apologies to Heikki because he may have suffered from the strategy, and apologies to Jarno because he had a hydraulics problem and he had to slow down to get the car to the finish, but overall a great result.”

Tony Fernandes

Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes was the happiest man of all:
“I’m completely over the moon! I cannot describe the feeling. Six months of work and to have both cars finish is just unbelievable. We’re thrilled, we’re happy and the spirit in the team is fantastic. I’m really proud of Jarno and of Heikki  and everyone here. It’s a great start and better than I could have dreamt of. We wanted to finish the race and to do so ahead of established teams is fantastic.

From here we keep going. Before the race Clive Chapman gave me Colin Chapman’s old Lotus cap and said ‘when you win the first race you’ll be the man to throw this up in the air like my Dad used to.’ That meant a lot to me, it was a wonderful gesture and it’s like handing over the mantle of one of motor racing’s great dynasties”

I think Tony Fernandes just about says it all, a fantastic start to the season for an iconic name in Formula One.

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