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Notable first for Trulli

PUBLISHED: 11:17 10 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:20 01 July 2010

There were plenty of positives for Lotus Racing at the Spanish Grand Prix - even though one of their drivers failed to start. Heikki Kovalainen suffered a gearbox failure on the grid and had to be retired but colleague Jarno Trulli gave the Norfolk-based team something to smile about, leaving the other new teams trailing as he finished 17th.

There were plenty of positives for Lotus Racing at the Spanish Grand Prix - even though one of their drivers failed to start.

Heikki Kovalainen suffered a gearbox failure on the grid and had to be retired but colleague Jarno Trulli gave the Norfolk-based team something to smile about, leaving the other new teams trailing as he finished 17th. It was the first time the Italian had completed a race since joining the team.

"I'm pleased we finished comfortably ahead of Virgin even though the car felt a bit difficult to drive today," said Trulli. "I don't really know why but it didn't feel the same as it did on Friday. Despite that we achieved what we set out to do, showed good race pace and finished well."

A disappointed Kovalainen added: "We had a gearbox problem while we were firing up on the grid. The gearbox selected two gears at once - there was some sort of software issue which caused it to fail. It's unfortunate, because we have had such a good weekend, but these things happen. Next up it's Monaco, and I know we'll be stronger again there, so we can focus on the next race and hope the luck returns."

Team principal Tony Fernandes was determined to look on the bright side after Lotus Racing's first outing in a European Grand Prix.

"It was a good day at the office - disappointing for Heikki but on the positive side the reliability looks good and we had no hydraulic issues at all," he said. "We continue to have at least one car finish ahead of all the other new teams which has always been one of the goals and we learnt a lot again. It's a shame Heikki wasn't there as it makes a big difference when we only have one car on track - both of them can help push us further ahead. "

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer added: "We had a difficult race where we weren't really able to show our true pace. Now we'll just have to go to Monaco next week and show what we know we can do."

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