(©Ben Johnston 2014)
The Lotus F1 Team head to the Monaco Grand Prix next weekend off the back of scoring their first world championship points of the 2014 Formula One season when Romain Grosjean finished in 8th place having qualified in 5th place.
The Enstone outfit have struggled since the start of the season however they believe that the Spanish Grand Prix marked a turning point in their season.
Despite scoring points at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya, the team still suffered from problems with their Renault power unit. However, Romain Grosjean is confident that the issues will be sorted as Total and Renault have worked extremely hard to make sure that the issues do not re-occur.
Speaking about the gains that Lotus made over the course of the Spanish Grand Prix Grosjean said:
'I think there is a little bit of everything. They have worked on the understanding of the car and both sides [engine and chassis] have been working hard. We have improved the stability of the car, the aero, we improved the suspension and the mechanical grip.'
This time last season Lotus had scored five podium's including one victory at the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
Pastor Maldonado, who replaced Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for this season following three season's with the Williams team is confident that the Lotus F1 Team have made big steps forward in recent weeks and believes that the outfit could be in a position to challenge for a podium next time out. The Venezuelan said:
'It's going to be a tough race, Mercedes are very quick as you know but I will do my best and I think it will be possible to be competitive,” Maldonado said. “Hopefully a bit more competitive than here in Barcelona because we have more mileage, we are more confident with the car – the team as well – so hopefully it can be much better.'
He went on to say:
'You never know, Monaco you need to be very lucky. Especially because of the traffic in qualifying, especially in qualy too, but if you put everything together then why not? Why not? We will see.'
A good qualifying position in Monte Carlo is going to be key to ensuring that teams have a great result at the circuit as it is extremely tricky place to overtake.
©Ben Johnston 2014