Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says his team's impressive pace during testing doesn't necessarily imply it has moved up in Formula 1's pecking order.
The Frenchman warned that it will not be until the next week's final preseason test at Barcelona that teams run in Melbourne specification. Several rivals have commented on the pace of the Lotus, most recently Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg, but the team is making no assumptions about its position.
"Confident, no, but happy, yes," said Boullier when asked about his feelings on the car's performance. "I know that next test everyone is going to bring a Melbourne spec, so we will see next weekend how it is going. Then you can stop to draw some conclusions. But the race is in Melbourne."
Boullier confirmed that his team will also introduce an upgrade package for the final test.
Lotus has shown glimpses of potentially front-running pace so far in testing. It is expecting to make a good step with the Melbourne-spec parts and he does not expect other teams to make a significantly bigger step.
"After today, I hope nobody will find one-second of performance between now and then, it doesn't work like this," he said on Friday. "It should be a reasonable upgrade."
Like all teams, Lotus has struggled with tire degradation, with one of Romain Grosjean's race simulation stints cut short yesterday because of it. But Boullier is reserving judgement until the cars run in warmer temperatures.
"It looks like they're degrading more," he said. "But we saw last year when it was cold that the tires were completely out of the [temperature] range, graining and degrading massively.
"We need to wait now to have hotter temperatures to see how the tires are working and if there is a big difference. In Brazil [using 2013 development rubber in practice] the tires weren't degrading that much."