Tony Fernandes more than happy with Team Lotus’ week
Hingham's Team Lotus hailed their best result of the season after Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen finished 13th and 14th at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Having been given the all-clear in the High Court on Friday to carry on racing under Norfolk's iconic marque, the team celebrated with yet more steady improvement.
Team Lotus' sister outfit, Team Air Asia, celebrated victory in Friday's GP2 feature race – F1's feeder series – which was their first win since being formed last year.
Team principal Tony Fernandes said: 'That capped off an incredible week for us. This time last year neither car finished the race but (this time) both cars crossed the line. Our pace was good but most importantly both cars finished the race, we brought the Team Lotus brand home and we won the first of the GP2 races in Monaco.
'That constitutes a very good week's work at the office. Now we go to Montreal and as we keep moving forwards to the rest of our history, our heritage and our destiny.'
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It was a mixed day for the other combatants in the High Court naming battle, Group Lotus.
The Hethel-backed Renault team saw Nick Hiedfeld finish eighth, while team-mate Vitaly Petrov needed treatment at the Princess Grace Hospital after being caught up in the crash late in the race.
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Petrov and Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso met on lap 69, just as the top three – winner Sebastian Vettel, runner-up Fernando Alonso and third-placed Jenson Button – were poised to lap a gaggle of cars.
'I'm fine; I have some hurting in my legs, but it should be fine for Canada,' said Petrov on Monday. 'I couldn't get out of the car because first of all my legs were blocked and also I didn't feel them. So I thought 'oh, I have a problem', because it looked like my leg was broken or something.
'At the hospital they did a full body check and analysis and it looks like I'm fine. I need just a little bit of rest and then we'll see what is going on.'
Petrov was the second driver admitted to hospital, joining rookie Mexican driver Perez who was involved in a heavy crash during qualifying in his Sauber.
As for Team Lotus, Trulli felt the Hingham team's day could have been even better.
'I was holding position and keeping up with the cars ahead but the safety car hit our race strategy hard.' said the Italian. 'The gap we had was wasted behind slower cars and even though I passed Jerome D'Ambrosio's Virgin the second safety car pretty much defined the rest of the race.
'But that was a great result for the team, the best of the season so we're all pleased with that.'
Meanwhile, Vettel declared his pride at being able to add his name to the roll call of legends to have won around Monte Carlo – a 15th career victory for the defending world champion.
'I am really, really happy,' said Vettel, who has a 58-point cushion over Lewis Hamilton in the current drivers' championship standings.
'It is a fantastic result and an extreme honour to put my name down on the list of previous winners here, so a perfect day I guess.'