Lotus team boss Eric Boullier says drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen have had to battle an imbalanced car throughout the Canadian Grand Prix weekend so far and are not to blame for the squad's disappointing grid positions.
Grosjean will start seventh in Montreal, while Raikkonen only managed 12th on the grid amid hydraulic problems.
"This is one of the worst qualifying sessions we have had since the beginning of the year," said Boullier. "Our aim from the beginning of the season was to have a car that was easily balanced and very easy to exploit for the driver, and this weekend we never put the right balance with the right level of grip together.
"That is why the driver was trying to get the best of the car, but doing small mistakes - and could not put a proper lap together. And when you have time differences less than a tenth it costs a lot of positions."
Asked if the problems were related to the way the E20 warmed up its tyres, Boullier admitted that the car remained very temperature-sensitive.
"With the parc ferme system you focus on the race set-up and our team did build a very nice car, which is saving the tyres, easy to drive most of the time and that is clearly a clever target to achieve," he said.
"But it is true as well that when we do not have the right temperature we are struggling in the race because obviously we need to anticipate [weather]. If you want to qualify nicely, and you have different weather conditions Saturday and Sunday, that is why it is hard to handle a complete weekend."