Jarno Trulli says the new Lotus team is even better equipped than he had hoped when he decided to join it – but admitted that his expectations for the squad's first year remain limited.
The Italian was impressed by Lotus' premises in Norfolk, noting that the factory had more resources than he expected for a start-up operation.
"It's rather new, and it seems very modern to me," Trulli told Gazzetta dello Sport. "They used to build the MGs for Le Mans here. We have everything, including the facility to produce carbon fiber. On top of that, we also have an excellent wind tunnel at our disposal, which I visited on Monday. For a new team, we are in a better position than I would have hoped."
Trulli is moving to Lotus after five years at Toyota, a team that enjoyed huge funding from its parent company. While full of respect for Lotus, he said its aims have to be much lower than the World Championship glory Toyota had once hoped it would achieve.
"Because Lotus is smaller, it could turn out being more efficient, but there's no doubt it doesn't have Toyota's potential," said Trulli.
He said his initial ambition was simply to do justice to the legendary Lotus name. "We are under no illusions: we are focusing on a low-profile kind of season in order to get in the points once and again," Trulli said. "The first objective is to give dignity to an F1 team called Lotus. It's a three- to five-year, long-term project."