Romain Grosjean believes that Lotus has been held back this year because it is getting used to working with two new drivers.
Lotus brought GP2 champion Grosjean in alongside Formula 1-returnee Kimi Raikkonen for this season, and the Franco-Swiss says that the all-new line-up has put the team at a disadvantage compared to the other major teams.
"Some teams like Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren have been working with their drivers for three, four or five years and they know each other," said Grosjean.
"When they go to a racetrack they know where they want to start. When we start the race weekend we start with last year's data, but it wasn't us in the car. So you need a bit of time to adapt and that means in the end you are not perfect."
He added that he hopes the team can reap the benefits of continuity next year if it keeps the same line-up.
"Hopefully if it goes well I will be with the team next season and we will be able to look at what we had this year and we can start with a better setup.
"Then we will know already what was working and what wasn't, and that will give us more free time to go and get everything perfect."
Grosjean said that he has no guarantees about his future for next year.
"At the moment I am hoping [for 2013]," he said. "I hope I will stay in F1, it was tough to lose before [in 2009]. But if we keep going like we have I think there are good chances.
"I am a perfectionist so I won't say I have done enough. I will try to get better and better, there are things I am learning and I am still improving."