Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne believes his team can take a significant step forward in the Spanish Grand Prix thanks to the upgrades it will introduce.
With Lotus having raced with a simple car design in the first four races of the season, Gascoyne reckons the team has a lot to gain from the introduction of more developed parts. That is why he is confident Lotus will be able to close to the gap to its rivals from the Spanish GP onward.
"All the teams will have upgrades for Barcelona, but we're hoping that ours is even more significant than our rivals because we received our entry so late and had to freeze the initial specification of the car very early in the design process," said Gascoyne. "We do expect it to be reasonably significant – we have an aero package with revised sidepods, front wings and brake ducts, and a number of mechanical changes, but obviously we'll have to wait and see what step forward our rivals will also make."
He added: "It's very gratifying to see the whole factory in full operation, with every department now nearly fully staffed but starting to work to their full potential.
"This means we can now look at more long-term development and R&D programs, and start thinking about future cars. We're through the hardest part of the team's growth and we're on a very good footing for the future."
Team boss Tony Fernandes admitted he was delighted with the performance of his team so far, something he reckons proved all doubters wrong.
"We're back in Europe and I couldn't be more pleased with the position we arrived in. The first phase of Lotus Racing's life is now behind us, and the next challenge starts here.
"We've proved all the doubters wrong, and have shown that the hard work everyone in the team puts is making the dream we share come true."