Romain Grosjean celebrated his 50th grand prix start by scoring the first points of the season for Lotus, thanks to an eighth place finish at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Pastor Maldonado finished 15th for the Enstone-based team, who had not won a point in the opening three races.

The race was won by Mercedes’ Leiws Hamilton, who completed his fourth grand prix victory in a row.

And Grosjean admitted it was one of his most challenging races.

“It’s been a tough battle for us to get points this season,” said Grosjean.

“That was certainly one of the hardest races I’ve contested in a long time.

“I did everything I could to drive around the power unit issues, which really made things difficult when battling the other cars.

“It’s good for all the crew at the track and at Enstone to finally get a reward for all their hard work.

“There are still a lot of areas where we can improve and certainly the car wasn’t as quick as it was on Saturday, with the different track conditions as well as the other issue.”

Maldonado added:“We made a step forward in terms of pace with the car this weekend, it was much more competitive than 15th.

“But the lack of top speed meant we weren’t able to attack even if we had a quicker car than others around us.

“We need to keep working on that and to be faster on the straights.

“The result is a bit disappointing, but my race had been compromised by starting from the back of the grid.

“At least we saw the chequered flag and collected more data for the team to keep on developing the car.”

Deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi said: “We are very pleased for the team and for Romain to have scored our first points today.

“It’s certainly been a long road to get to this place.

“It’s not all a sweet taste as we were expecting to have finished further up the grid.”