It’s goodbye Team Lotus and hello to 10th place

Hingham's Team Lotus said goodbye to the Norfolk marque and hello to millions of extra pounds for after securing a second successive 10th place championship finish.

Hingham's Team Lotus said goodbye to the Norfolk marque and hello to millions of extra pounds for after securing a second successive 10th place championship finish.

Tony Fernandes' constructor will be renamed Caterham from next season, as well as moving its motorsport operations closer to Silverstone during the winter.

They signed off by achieving their aim of the final slice of Formula One's revenue pie ahead of Virgin Racing and HRT in the final grand prix of the 2011 season, to provide a sound base for improvement next season – and hopefully those elusive first championship points.

Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli came home 16th and 18th in Brazil at the weekend – sandwiching Bruno Senna's Group Lotus-backed Renault, which will officially take over the iconic Norfolk marque Lotus in its own right next season.


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Vitaly Petrov came home 10th to salvage one point and secure fifth in the constructors' championship, after what has been a difficult season at Enstone.

But for those from Hingham, there were plenty of reasons to smile in Sao Paulo as Team Lotus waved in a new ear.

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'It was almost tears for me,' admitted Fernandes. 'I am absolutely overjoyed. Two years of hard work have paid off and it was great to see both cars home safely, helping us win 10th place. 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 and some incredible partners, and I know how much it means to each and every person associated with us to have finished this season where we wanted to.

'Now we look forward to our new life as Caterham F1 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. We know we will do you proud there as well.'

Norwich-born chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said: 'I think that is a great way to end the season.'

Kovalainen added: 'All year we've kept on progressing and we've finished on a real high with that 10th place so we're set us up perfectly for next year where we can take another step forward in the development of this team.'

Petrov finished 10th in the drivers' championship, just three points ahead of Nick Heidfeld – Robert Kubica's winter replacement, who was dumped by Lotus Renault halfway through the season.

Senna's two points placed him 18th, while Trulli's two 13th finishes – Australia and Monaco – topped Kovalainen's 13th in Italy to hand him 21st, one place above the Finn.

It remains to be seen whether both will be racing for Caterham next season.

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