Date:Thursday March 27 2014
Romain Grosjean isn't expecting a miracle turnaround in Malaysia, but is hoping for a step forward from his Lotus team.
Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester has already spoken of his fear that real improvements will not show until the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
But Grosjean is just hoping for a step forward and to be frank, things couldn't be any worse than they were in Australia.
Winter testing had shown a rapid downward spiral for the team after ending the 2013 season on a relative high.
Lotus missed the first winter test in Jerez completely and then struggled for mileage in the Bahrain tests.
In the end the Australia race weekend was pretty much just an additional test session for the team as they continued to play catchup.
Friday's practice came and went with neither driver completing a lap during free practice one, free practice two saw Grosjean complete 12 laps whilst Maldonado remained in the garage.
On Saturday, Maldonado completed 15 laps in FP3 but Grosjean remained in the pits.
In qualifying Maldonado failed to set a time, whilst Grosjean completed a time which was over six seconds off the pace.
The race saw both drivers having to retire due to a faulty MGU-K [Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic] component, part of Renault's power-train.
Maldonado had completed just 29 laps, whilst Romain Grosjean retired after 43 laps.
Lotus had problems with the new Renault power-train, the new breaking system and the new Pirelli tyres.
There wasn't much that was right with the car.
'I think we've made quite a lot of changes and [there's] a lot of areas where we've seen we can improve from the race data we learnt on Sunday, So hopefully we did our homework. I don't think everything is going to be 100 per cent but if it can be a good step forward then that would be nice.' Grosjean told Sky Sports.
'I don't want to be too confident or too careful, I just want to jump in the car, drive and see that the power unit is responding better: the state of charge and fuel management and so on is getting better. That our brakes system is better as well, that we use properly the tyres.
'If we do those three things then I think maybe it will be a big step forward. It's not going to be looking for the last tenth or last hundredth.
'If we put two and two together, we're not that far off the Red Bull. But we've got to put two and two together.'
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Date:Thursday March 27 2014
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