Lotus team boss Eric Boullier says he is confident his squad can stay in the fight for third place in the standings despite having been passed by McLaren.
McLaren moved into third in the constructors' championship thanks to Jenson Button's second place in the German Grand Prix, where Kimi Raikkonen was third. With both their teammates Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean failing to score, Lotus is now one point behind McLaren.
Boullier admitted it was disappointing to be relegated to fourth, and while he concedes the battle will be very tough, he is hopeful Lotus can keep up its development rate and stay in the fight until the end.
"It's obviously disappointing to lose third place, but it's very, very tight and we've built a gap over the fifth-placed team." said Boullier. "However, we are hungry for success and we do want more. If we can keep bringing the developments and updates we have been planning and make them work on track then I think we should be able to defend our current position.
"I am not sure about third or fourth by the end of the year, as everything is very close, but I am pretty convinced that we will be in the fight for one of the prime places in the constructors' championship."
Boullier says the team is aware that it needs to improve its qualifying performance in order to be able to fight for better positions. Raikkonen qualified in 10th in Germany, while Grosjean started from 19th after a penalty for changing his gearbox.
"It's clear what we need to do for better results. Anyone who watches Formula 1 can tell us this. We need to do better in qualifying," Boullier said. "It's clear that if we want to win the races we have to be top four or five on the grid."