Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne believes that updates planned for the Spanish Grand Prix could allow the team to fight for points for the first time since joining the F1 grid at the start of 2010.
The team enjoyed arguably its strongest race so far in China where Heikki Kovalainen beat the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and the Sauber of Sergio Perez to the chequered flag, marking the first time that the team had beaten established outfits on pace.
Following the next race of the year in Turkey, a series of upgrades are planned for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, and Gascoyne said he was hopeful that the upgrades would take the team closer to the top ten.
"With the three races coming up our major update will come at Barcelona, which will be a major update to the diffuser and rear end of the car - it will bring quite a lot of performance to the car," he said. ï¿½We have other smaller updates for Barcelona and for Turkey before that as well. I think if we look at scoring points we have to look at Barcelona onwards, I think the updates to the car are going to be very significant.ï¿½
Gascoyne added that the team was pleased with the way it had started the season having shown itself to be again be the quickest of the newcomers ahead of both Virgin and Hispania.
"It's always quite an intense time to get everything freighted out to those flyaway races and it's difficult to get many updates on the car," he added. "I think in general we are reasonably pleased. We had four finishes out of six and showed good pace in China especially, we also qualified very close to the cars in front in Malaysia and were close to the teams in front.
"I think the one negative is that we've struggled a little bit in qualifying and one-lap pace, especially in cooler conditions and track temperatures. But I think that is something we are getting on top of and the next few races won't be a problem."