Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne hailed his team's performance in Canada as a massive step forward.
The Briton said the team competed like one of the established squads rathen than like a new outfit.
"I think this weekend has been a massive step forward for the whole team," he said after Heikki Kovalainen finished in 16th position, ahead of the Renault of Vitaly Petrov.
"Rather than being just one of the new teams, we actually got stuck in and raced the teams ahead, which is what we wanted to do, so congratulations and thank you to the whole team for getting us to this position.
"In the end we lapped both of the other new teams, so it was a great effort, and again, well done."
Kovalainen fought for position with several drivers and even ran as high as sixth while the rest of the cars pitted.
Team-mate Jarno Trulli was forced to retire with an apparent brake problem.
"I think overall we can be very happy with the race, and the whole weekend," added Gascoyne. "The one disappointment was obviously Jarno's problem - we will have to look at it in more detail, but it looks as though the vibration put paid to his race.
"Before he pulled over he was absolutely flying and the strategy would have really paid out for him, so that's a plus. Heikki drove a fantastic race, fighting all the way with the guys in front, and kept it up right to the end to keep Petrov behind him."