Lotus achieve best finish yet in bid for 10th place
Lotus celebrated their best performance of the season as Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finished in 12th and 13th places respectively at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lotus' strong performance represented a significant step towards securing 10th place in the team championship, with three races to go and Kovalainen said: 'It was a wicked race, really absolutely fantastic for me, Jarno and the whole team.
'Our pace was amazing – we were only lapped once and at this kind of circuit, where we needed to perform, we could not have done any more. An amazing day for the whole team, and now we're another big step closer to that tenth place, which is obviously the main aim of the whole season.'
Trulli added: 'I'm really pleased for everyone with the result, and congratulations to Heikki as well on a great race.
'We both had a strong run to the end, and even though I had another hydraulics issue in the last couple of laps, I managed to get the car home which was obviously the main objective.'
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Team principal Tony Fernandes said it was a welcome boost following the recent controversy over the team's proposed use of the Team Lotus brand next season. He said: 'I am absolutely delighted, just so pleased for the whole team. The result today is a tremendous response to the negativity that we have been dealing with off-track over the last week or so.
'This is the best ever result in the as yet very short life of Lotus Racing, and 12th and 13th far exceeds any of the expectations I had at the start of the season. The future for our team is so bright, and the decisions we have been making recently are giving us an incredible platform from which to build on days like this.
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'As I always say – 'believe the unbelievable' – we did that today and look at what we have achieved.'