An over-the-moon Lotus boss Tony Fernandes was almost lost for words after it achieved its first appearance in the second round of qualifying at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

"I’m speechless! What a day," Fernandes exlaimed. "To get 15th place in our home country, in front of our home crowd is amazing. I’m over the moon and just so excited. Today we’ll enjoy it, and we’ll live for the day, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow."

Kovalainen & Fernandes

The man of the moment, Heikki Kovalainen, was equally pleased with the result.

"I’m so pleased. Getting to Q2 really exceeds expectations for me and the whole team – yes of course we’ve been a little bit lucky today … but it means we beat the other new teams, again,” he added.

“We played our strategy just right -if you look at the McLarens and Ferraris they didn’t think it was going to rain that much and look what happened. They missed their window at the beginning of the session and we took full advantage of it. Now I can’t wait to race tomorrow."

Team-mate Jarno Trulli will line up in 15th tomorrow, quickest of the Q3 knockouts. The Italian veteran also felt that he had a decent tilt at making it into Q2 as well.

"It was disappointing because I was doing very well," he said. "Unfortunately on my quickest lap a car spun in front of me, which impeded me through the second and third sector so I couldn’t close my fast lap; and then the rain was getting worse, so there was no chance to improve on lap time.

"Still – we’ll do our best tomorrow and we’ll see what happens."

This is a great result for the Malaysian-owned team on home soil!

[Image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.