Lotus eyes midfield after step forward

Lotus believes that it can turn its attentions towards catching the midfield battle in Formula 1 following the team's performance in qualifying at Barcelona

Lotus eyes midfield after step forward

While the team remained in the bottom six places with fellow newcomers Virgin and HRT, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were nearly one second clear of Timo Glock, who has often battled with them in qualifying this season.

Rubens Barrichello was the slowest of the established teams in 18th, 0.7 seconds ahead of Trulli, and the Italian believes that there is plenty more to come from Lotus that will enable he and Kovalainen to start targeting bigger scalps.

"The result itself hasn't changed, but we have significantly reduced the gap to the cars in front," said Trulli, who felt that the balance of his car was not as good today as it was on Friday.

"Now we have a good gap to our direct competitors [as well], and we can start thinking about taking on those in front.

"We still have a lot of work to do, and I think there is even more to come from the car, so let's see what happens."

Kovalainen added: "We achieved all the targets we set ourselves and we can see the gaps going in the right direction - nearer those in front, and further away from the other new teams.

"We won't have these kind of upgrades every weekend, but I think the car will get quicker and quicker and we'll keep improving all the time."

Team boss Tony Fernandes added that it was important for Lotus to prove that the updates it had promised for the start of the European season showed a significant improvement.

"We've talked a lot about Barcelona, so turning that talk into results has been important and we have clearly made a big step forward," he said.

"I think we're about a second and a half away from the established teams, so hopefully that speed, with consistent reliability, will see us able to challenge higher up the grid."

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