Romain Grosjean claims to have been hit with a recurrence of the mystery car problem which held him back during the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix weekends.
Grosjean first hit the problem during Friday morning practice when running the new exhaust design used by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in Malaysia and, despite reverting to the previous specification in the afternoon, continued to struggle.
This is despite the problem initially appearing to be solved ahead of Saturday practice in Malaysia.
"It's the third Friday of the season and the third time the same story," said Grosjean.
"We went to the updates this morning and it was terrible then we went back to the last race specification and it was worse - from bad to very bad.
"All we can see is a lack of performance in downforce.
"We need to see now what we can understand. We cannot run the same set-up as Kimi because it doesn't work."
Previously, Grosjean did not believe that the problem could be related to the monocoque itself.
But as the team has now changed many parts, he believes that a switch of chassis is possible in the future.
Lotus does have a spare chassis in China, so if a problem was found it is possible the team could rebuild his car around that - although currently this is not something it plans to do.
"Maybe, we will see," he said when asked if the chassis might be at the root of the problem.
"We need to see now deeply the detail and that [a change of chassis] will be an option."
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