Even as Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel celebrate their mighty achievements in Abu Dhabi, Lotus Racing will leave the track happy as the Malaysian owned team has secured its primary goal for the season – tenth place and the best of the new teams. Heikki Kovalainen finished the Abu Dhabi GP in 17th place while Jarno Trulli’s race came to an three laps before the end after his rear wing fell off.

“I am completely relieved, completely ecstatic, completely happy and completely vindicated in making the decision to go into F1. What we have achieved today is what dreams are made of. To complete 19 races after having just five months to build a car and finish in tenth in style is something that is truly magical. It shows you that even in the modern age where money and power counts for so much, there is a chance for ambition and dreams to shine,” said Team Principal Tony Fernandes.

“2010 is a year that we can be proud of. We brought Lotus back into F1 after many had talked about it, but we did it. I can confidently say that everyone associated with the Lotus history can be very proud of what we have done this year. This is the first chapter of a long career ahead and we will create our own future, destiny and history from here.

“I am thankful to all the incredibly special staff we have in Hingham, Malaysia and here in Abu Dhabi for what they have done this year and my abiding memory of 2010 comes from one of our engineers, who told me he had achieved higher grid positions with other teams, but never with a team that feels as special as this. To all the Lotus fans thank you so much for your support – we could not have done it without you. I am thrilled that Lotus Racing has opened up F1 to everyone out there, and we cannot wait to see you next year,” the AirAsia boss added.

Remember the bet? Now it’s time to see Sir Richard Branson in that sexy red stewardess outfit!