Lotus boss Eric Boullier claims there is no reason for his team to feel disappointed that its drivers did not have the pace to win the European Grand Prix, despite its high hopes before the race.
The team had gone in to the weekend as favorites to deliver an eighth different victor in F1 this season, and its best qualifying performance lifted hopes it could achieve that target. But in the race, Romain Grosjean struggled to match the pace of leader Sebastian Vettel before both men retired, and later on Kimi Raikkonen lost time trying to get past the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, leaving eventual winner Fernando Alonso clear at the front.
Raikkonen still managed to finish second though and Boullier said that ultimately he thinks the weekend was a positive one for his team.
"You cannot be disappointed with the pace," he said. "Everybody has improved their car, so everybody is improving their pace as well. I think it was a good outcome from the weekend.
"We were able to qualify better, and ignoring retirements we had the pace fast enough to have both our cars in the top five in the final result. It was disappointing that Romain could not finish the race, because he had a good start, a good qualifying and a good race – but all in all it is very positive."
Raikkonen's podium finish has helped Lotus hold on to its third place in the Constructors' Championship – although Ferrari has closed its deficit – and Boullier thinks there remains plenty of opportunities for it to score victories this year.
"We need to keep pushing to do a very nice result because we can do it," he said. "It is good to be a regular podium finisher - and it is good for the team that we have recovered the ground we lost last year.
"I am disappointed for Romain and disappointed that there were some big points that we missed, but in the end McLaren and Red Bull did not score as much as they wanted. OK, now Ferrari is chasing us, but that is good."