Lotus must improve its qualifying performances if it is going to grab its first win of the season, says technical director James Allison.
Although the E20 has shown very strong pace in several races this year, including Canada last weekend when Romain Grosjean charged to second place behind winner Lewis Hamilton, its victory chances have been hurt by its often poor grid positions. Allison believes that even a small improvement on its Saturday pace will be enough to allow it to achieve the breakthrough it is looking for.
"We've often been devastatingly fast on the harder of the tires in qualifying but then come up a bit short on the softer option; that's an issue we're working on at the moment," he explained. "You can point to cars on the grid that are very quick in qualifying but not so competitive in the race and vice-versa.
"We seem to have a car that is not among the very quickest in qualifying at the moment but has very good race pace. It's not a bad combination, and we'd rather have it this way round than the other, but if we want to win races we are going to have to improve our qualifying performances. It's not going to take much, we just need that little bit extra if we want to challenge for higher honors."
Allison also revealed that Grosjean's tires in Montreal had even more performance left in them at the end, despite having elected to run a one-stop.
"We could in fact have gone quite a lot further than we did," he said. "There was still plenty of rubber left on them at the end of the race. It really was an excellent performance from Romain, and the car looked very competitive on the soft-compound tires.
"If you look at the cars who made two stops, their middle stints were around the same pace that Romain was running and he managed to continue until the end of the race. Indeed, after Lewis [Hamilton] stopped for the second time he was only pulling away from Romain at around 0.4sec per lap on tires that were 37 laps younger."