The Frenchman made it through to the top 10 shoot-out at the last round in China but after running strongly, a gearbox issue forced him to retire from the race.
“The gearbox problem was obviously a big disappointment,” he said. “But the overall picture for the whole weekend was 90% positive. We didn’t get a reward at the end, but we know we made a step in the right direction with the car. I think it is getting there. It is still not as good as we believe it can be.”
Despite registering his second DNF of the year, he is confident that the Enstone-based outfit will be more competitive at the first round of the European season.
“The aim in Barcelona is to keep improving, but we know we have a decent platform to work from and solve the remaining issues,” he explained. “Of course power unit wise we are not yet equal to the best and from our side we are still behind the top Renault team.”
He added: “On paper we made a big relative improvement in China but it wasn’t just one thing. We took the Renault updates and our own updates as well and moved forward.
“Altogether we made a big step, even though there were no massive changes on the car – we’re just trying to make everything work together better. There is more to come for Barcelona.”
His team-mate Pastor Maldonado believes a top five result could be possible at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team