Kimi Raikkonen says it is no surprise that Lotus has not been able to match the development rate of the bigger teams, because it simply does not have the resources to keep throwing money at upgrades.
Lotus enjoyed a strong first half of the campaign, but found itself unable to keep that form up since the summer break and has fallen away from the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in recent races.
Raikkonen thinks his team has still done a great job this year though, and believes the way the season has panned out for Lotus is simple to explain.
"We've done developments but the others have probably done more," he said, when asked for his explanation as to why the second part of the season has not been as good as the first.
"For sure the others are bigger than us. They have more money to put in and more people to make things. Money makes a big difference in this sport. We tried and we haven't done badly, that's for sure, comparing to other teams – and especially those big teams that we're fighting against.
"It's disappointing that we're not there, but we have to be realistic. We've still done a pretty good job overall."
Raikkonen thinks it important that Lotus keeps pushing for developments with its car so it can deliver an even better design in 2013.
"We'll still try to improve this car because everything that we do now is going to also help for next year," he said. "It's not like it's wasting time. Those things [developments] will probably come with the new car anyway, so if we can put them on the circuit now and learn something then maybe we can make them better.
"We'll keep pushing and working hard but it's generally not easy to find half a second. There's no easy trick. You have to find small, small improvements."