Team Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne has admitted it is 'unfortunate' that Williams are the team now being targeted by the second-year outfit after an impressive performance in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Heikki Kovalainen finished 16th in Shanghai and, although not the best finish for the team so far, was able to finish ahead of Williams' Pastor Maldonado and the Sauber of Sergio Perez.
While that fact left Gascoyne understandably pleased, he did admit there was some sadness that the team now next on Lotus' radar are multiple champions Williams, who have endured a difficult start to 2011 and have yet to score after the first three races of the year.
"Unfortunately, it's probably Williams,” he told the BBC
when asked who Lotus is now targeting on track. "I say unfortunately because Williams is a great team and a great name, and they are the one we are trying to pick off first when you'd like to see them nearer the front.
"Maybe I'm a bit of an old git and there's a bit of nostalgia, but you want to see them at the front as they are one of the great teams. However, we're Team Lotus now and if we're racing Williams then that's good for us."
Gascoyne added that the team is looking to make big steps forward from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards, when a series of upgrades are set to be introduced onto the Team Lotus car.
“We're looking at some big updates for Barcelona and have made big progress in the wind tunnel recently,” he said. “We're clearly struggling for one-lap pace when we have cool days and low track temperatures. But we've always said from winter testing that our race pace is really good and we're very confident in it. It's just trying to understand these tyres because people clearly can get better one-lap pace.
"In the race we were racing Maldonado, and we felt we had him from the first few laps, yet we qualified two seconds behind him. So these tyres are really difficult to get on top."