Team Lotus endured one of its most frustrating races of the season after both Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli were forced to retire from the British Grand Prix early on.

Kovalainen had made the most of changeable weather conditions in qualifying to make it through to the second stage of qualifying but was the first driver to retire after a gearbox issue forced him back into the pits to retire.

That left Jarno Trulli to uphold Lotus honours but he too was forced to quit the race after his Renault engine developed an oil leak, leaving the team with a double DNF from its second 'home' race of the campaign.

"That is obviously a disappointing end to what had been a very encouraging weekend for the team," technical chief Mike Gascoyne said. "It looks like Heikki suffered an electrical problem on his gearbox which caused him to lose fourth gear so we had to pull him in and retire him. It was definitely not a problem with the gearbox itself so we need to take a close look at what went wrong on our side and make sure it does not happen again.

"On Jarno's car we instructed him to stop as he had an oil leak and lost pressure so we had to end his race early to ensure we did not damage the engine. Sometimes races end like this but we have been working very hard to minimise these sorts of problems, so we will regroup and come back stronger in Germany at the next race."

Team principal Tony Fernandes agreed that the weekend had promised much more than was delivered on track although there were still positives to be taken away from the weekend.

"That is such a shame," he said. "This weekend held huge promise for us after we had performed well on Friday, and especially well on Saturday, and in conditions like these we know both our drivers have the talent and experience to take whatever opportunities present themselves. We have worked very hard on improving the reliability of the cars throughout the season but you can never account for everything that might happen and unfortunately this just turned out to be one of those races that we have to move on from.

"Despite that, the whole weekend has been very encouraging, particularly for me seeing the huge support we have in the stands where there is a growing legion of fans wearing green and yellow, so now we will do our best to give them something to cheer for in Germany and Hungary before we head into the summer break."