Two-car finish leaves Team Lotus happy at Spa
Hingham's Team Lotus put their reliability woes behind them with a strong two-car finish at Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.
The Norfolk team built on Heikki Kovalainen's push into Q2 on Saturday with a 15th-place finish, which team-mate Jarno Trulli managed to top with 14th at the chequered flag.
The Team Lotus pair finished well ahead of Virgin duo Jerome d'Ambrosio and Timo Glock, as well as the final classified finisher, Tonio Liuzzi's HRT.
'For me and the whole team that was a really good race,' said Trulli. 'I had a great start, passing a few other cars away from the line but then the accident in turn one meant both Heikki and I suffered damage – him to his nose cone, me to the floor and I had to run the whole race with that damage, so to finish 14th after that is just fantastic.
'Apart from the start I enjoyed the whole race – I passed a number of cars and when the safety car came out I was able to close the gap to the cars ahead.
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'One of the best points of the race was the first stop I made – I came in just behind one of the HRTs and the pit crew did a brilliant job to get me out fast enough to pass him in the pit lane, so I want to thank them and the whole team for a really solid weekend.
'Racing like this, with no problems and with a car I can fight with all afternoon is very satisfying, so now I can't wait to get back in when we get to Italy and keep up the momentum we've built up here.'
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Kovalainen added: 'I got off the line well but it all tightened up at the first corner and I touched Jarno after someone else had hit me – I was caught in a bit of a sandwich but after I'd pitted and had a new nose it all went pretty well from there.'
Norwich-born chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne found pleasure not just in his drivers' performances – but his pit crews too.
'That is a very good result for the whole team today and goes down as one of our strongest performances since we came into the sport,' said Gascoyne.
'We had a poor start where both cars were last after making contact in the first corner but we recovered very well, and to have finished in 14th and 15th after that is very pleasing.
'Both drivers were excellent today, but the pit crew deserve special praise for having taken a massive step forward in their performance. All our stops were exactly what we needed so congratulations to them for a job very well done today.'