Tony Fernandes wasn’t just happy with Lotus’s championship result.
|Heikki Kovalainen||Jarno Trulli|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q1)||1’15.068 (-0.29)||1’15.358|
Lotus drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Pit stop 1||Soft 22.854s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 22.013s|
|Pit stop 3||Medium 21.478s|
Lotus’s much-vaunted new rear wing did not provide the leap forward the team were hoping for. Kovalainen was the faster of the two drivers in qualifying as usual, four-tenths of a second off Pastor Maldonado and six-tenths off reaching Q2.
Kovalainen had a straightforward run to 16th, ahead of the delayed Bruno Senna, which guaranteed tenth in the championship for Lotus. It earns them a financial windfall of several million pounds.
Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “Two years of hard work have paid off today and it was great to see both cars home safely, helping us win tenth place.”
Fernandes revealed that, despite the settling of the naming row with rivals Renault, he still takes particular satisfaction from beating them: “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.”
Fernandes added: “Now we look forward to our new life as Caterham F1 Team and we say goodbye to Team Lotus. Colin [Chapman] – 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.”
|Pit stop 1||Soft 22.616s|
|Pit stop 2||Medium 21.555s|
Trulli’s weekend was clouded by rumours that, despite his contract for 2012, he could yet be pushed aside for another driver, possibly Red Bull-backed Daniel Ricciardo.
He did little to dissipate the speculation with another indifferent performance. He was out-qualified by Kovalainen for the 16th time and finished almost 40 seconds behind his team mate.
Drove Jarno Trulli’s car in first practice.
2011 Brazilian Grand Prix
Image © Team Lotus