Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne says his team urgently needs to address its reliability issues so it can show what its T128 can really do.
The team's best result of Friday practice in Malaysia was 16th with Jarno Trulli in the first session. Test driver Davide Valsecchi's morning outing came to a slightly early end due to a sensor issue, while Heikki Kovalainen only had four laps when he took over the car in the afternoon before a differential failure struck.
"This morning we had a pretty good session, with Davide having his first run in the car here at Sepang and he did a good job for the team, although his last run was cut a bit short," said Gascoyne. "With Jarno, we tried both the hard tire and the development tire and have good feedback on both.
"This afternoon we had what looks like a differential problem on Heikki's car which meant his afternoon was cut short, so apologies to him for that. With Jarno we managed to complete most of the program, despite changing his power steering, but, unfortunately, when he was on the soft tires traffic held him up which meant he wasn't able to extract the maximum speed from the car.
"Despite this, it is clear that the pace of the car is closer to the midfield than we were in Melbourne and now the onus is on us to make sure the reliability issues are solved and give the drivers a chance to show what the car can really do."
Team boss Tony Fernandes remains certain that the Lotus is quicker around Sepang than it looked today.
"If Jarno had not had traffic issues we would have been much closer to being able to show our true pace than we were in Melbourne and even though we keep being dogged by reliability issues we are still very excited about the weekend ahead and what will happen in qualifying tomorrow," he said.