Romain Grosjean is upbeat about the performance of the new Lotus E20 after his first day of testing with the car at Jerez on Thursday.
The Lotus driver was quickest of those in 2012-spec machinery today, finishing second to Nico Rosberg and ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull RB8.
Grosjean downplayed the times, but said he was very happy with how the new Lotus handles.
"For sure it's better to be first than last, that's clear," said Grosjean at the end of the day. "But the main thing is that the car is quite good, so we are trying to keep working and improve ourselves and see what we can do until the first qualy in Melbourne."
The Frenchman admitted the predictable handling of the car was giving him the confidence needed to push to the limit and extract vital tenths of a second.
"I think this one is much more predictable to drive and the handling is really good in the fast corners," he added. "You can really trust the car and push it to the limit and if you make a small mistake it's not a big issue and you are not going to spin – hopefully.
"So that's the first good point. You can trust the car, which is very important to go fast. It's really what you want to have when you are in Formula 1. If you are not confident you are not getting those last tenths."
Grosjean suggested, however, that his fastest time today was set during a low-fuel run.
"We had some fuel in the car. We had fuel to run it [the lap]. The car looks good on track and it's good to drive."
The French driver will continue at the wheel of the car in tomorrow's final session.