Timo Glock reckons Virgin Racing has had the better of Lotus so far this weekend in the battle of the new teams.
Heikki Kovalainen qualified 15th for Lotus with Glock 16th in his Virgin, but Glock believes he was compromised by not taking a new set of intermediate tyres in the final minutes of Q2. He was also carrying an extra 30kg of fuel because of Virgin's fuel pick-up problems.
Other than that, the German says Virgin has had a strong weekend and is well placed to challenge Lotus as the best of Formula 1's new teams in the race.
"The whole weekend has been positive for us so far, there have been no problems with the car and set-up wise we have gone in the right direction," Glock told AUTOSPORT. "In qualifying, everything went quite smoothly for us. I had a really good lap in Q1 on the intermediates while the others waited a bit too long I think.
"In Q2 I was a bit disappointed with the tires, they didn't work like they should have done and I think we made the wrong call to not come in at the end. Heikki came in two laps before the end to put on a new set of inters and just stepped in front of us. Otherwise I think we've been a step quicker than Lotus over the weekend."
Glock added that he expects Virgin's progress to continue when the European leg of the season begins at Barcelona next month.
"We know where the problems are and we are sorting them out step by step," he said. "Barcelona will be another step for us, we will be better in reliability and in speed. We still have to watch out for Lotus, I think they will bring a big aerodynamic upgrade, like every other team is doing. But this is the next step for us, to see how that works."