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Lotus thrilled with 10th in constructors' standings 28 Nov 2011

A Team Lotus team photo.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 27 November 2011 (L to R): Riad Asmat (MAL) Lotus Chief Executive Officer and Tony Fernandes (MAL) Team Lotus GP Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus T128  with Team Loftus branding following the purchase of football team QPR by Tony Fernandes (MAL) Team Lotus GP Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Team Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer, Tony Fernandes (MAL) Team Lotus GP Team Principal and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011

Lotus left Brazil with their heads held high after claiming 10th place in the constructors’ standings for a second year running. Drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finished Sunday’s Interlagos race in 16th and 18th respectively, which was enough to place the team ahead of fellow 2010 newcomers HRT and Virgin.

“Almost tears for me!” said team principal Tony 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.”

With the team set to be renamed Caterham next season, having recently settled their long-running dispute with Renault over the use of the Lotus name, Fernandes was pleased to sign off their ‘Team Lotus’ era in a suitable style.

“We have a fantastic little team here, and some incredible partners in GE, Dell, Intel, APC and CNN 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 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.”

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne was equally pleased with 10th place, although he did admit to feeling a touch anxious during the Interlagos event. Despite Lotus finishing most races ahead of HRT and Virgin, with all three of the teams failing to score points in 2011, it would have taken just one of the Virgin/HRT drivers finishing higher than 13th for Lotus to be overhauled in the standings.

“I think that is a great way to end the season and secure 10th place,” explained Gascoyne. “It was a tense afternoon for us with all the possible weather changes, but the conditions held off and we had the sort of race we have been putting in for much of this year.

“Really though today is about doing the job for our shareholders and our partners, in particular Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology who have played such a key role in today’s success. They deserve this success for the incredible support they give us every day and we will keep working hard to make them proud.”

The T128 recorded three 13th-place finishes over the course of the 2011 season, with Trulli claiming two, in Australia and Monaco, and Kovalainen one, in Italy.

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