Jarno Trulli says he has been impressed by the new Lotus T128 after getting his first taste of the car on Thursday at Valencia.
Although the Italian completed a limited programme due to a lack of power steering, he admitted he was still very pleased with how the car handles.
Trulli, who completed 38 installation laps today and did not set a time, admitted it was hard to judge how strong the car was, but he was still happy with it
"It's difficult to say, honestly, what the car is capable to do. But I got a good feeling, despite not having power steering, without which you can't really get the real test of the car," Trulli told AUTOSPORT.
"I can feel it's all okay, it's good, and it's running very well. I'm impressed by the whole rear end package. It's really great, and the people are working very professionally.
"It's looking very good, but it's hard to say now where we can be. I've just done systems work, which we have to do at this stage. It was a positive day."
He added: "We are right on target so far. Obviously we want to discover very soon how good this car is in terms of lap time, and where we are in terms of performance. At the moment it's too early. There are a few bits missing on the car and we can't really work on the set-up. At Jerez we will start hammering the car and understanding it."
The Lotus driver conceded this year's car feels like a proper F1 challenger right from the start, unlike the team's maiden car built in record time last year.
"I totally agree. I didn't have the time to drive with power steering you can still feel there is nothing really wrong. It's a good feeling, so I'm pretty positive and looking forward to put on some laps."
Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will be in action at Valencia tomorrow, as the team stays in Spain for a final day of work behind closed doors.