Lotus targets top three championship finish
16 May 2014 – Lotus has set its sights on a top three finish in the 2014 Formula 1 championship, having bounced back from a dismal start to the campaign which saw the team fail to claim a point from the opening four races.
With budgetary issues affecting its pre-season preparations and Renault's early engine troubles having a major impact on performance levels, Lotus had suffered a clutch of retirements and failed to break into the top ten.
But the latest phase of a constant development push saw fortunes improve over the course of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, with Romain Grosjean qualifying fifth and finishing eighth despite technical problems.
"We've been saying from the beginning of the season that we have a really good car, but it's been tough because of the foundations," Lotus team owner Gérard Lopez said after his team's Barcelona performance.
"We had an electronic issue on Romain's car that cost us our fight with the Ferrari drivers, but we had managed to pull away. So maybe the end result would have been different and we could have fought for fifth or sixth.
"It means, in theory, we have a car that is behind the Mercedes – even though everyone is behind Mercedes – but closer to the Red Bull. And that means we are able to fight and beat pretty much any other car."
On his aim for the season, Lopez added: "We want to fight for third or fourth. A quarter of the championship has gone, with teams taking points off each other. It's not that easy for anybody, apart from Mercedes.
"As a result of that we have to keep on working. Having qualified fifth and having been able to finish fifth or sixth clearly shows that we have a good car. It would be a bit cavalier to discount the rest of the season."
Lotus currently occupies eighth in the teams' standings on four points, 62 adrift of third-placed Ferrari.