Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says that he was encouraged by the form of the new E21 on its first outing at Jerez last week.
Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen topped the times on the second and fourth days of the test respectively, although Felipe Massa set the overall best time for Ferrari.
“I would say there are a couple of things,” said Boullier. “First of all, the feedback from the drivers after their first few laps is always very important – if you see them step out with a smile on their face you know the baseline of the car should be good and it was pleasing to see that from both Kimi and Romain.
“On top of that, we managed to complete some decent mileage which is always encouraging when you bring a brand new car to the track for the first time. Finally, the general pace of the car looked promising with each of our drivers.
“Of course, lap times are not representative of the order at this early stage of the season, but to be at the front of the pack without deliberately setting out to do so is always a plus. It doesn’t mean we will be World Champions, but we know the car works well and that’s a big credit to everyone involved.
“One of the main priorities now is to ensure that the reliability of the car matches up to the demands of the season ahead. Barcelona is much more similar to the kind of format we will see throughout the year, so the information we gather here will be more relevant to our requirements at the different circuits on the calendar.
“Another focus for the team will be to continue our analysis of the 2013 tyres to give us the best possible understanding of how the car will work with them.”
Meanwhile Boullier says that Grosjean is on good form: “Romain did a good job during his first two days with the E21 and has started the year full of confidence, which is exactly what we expected from him. The difference is clear; he knows what he needs to do and the early signs look promising for the future.”