Jarno Trulli has admitted that Team Lotus probably started its second season 'back' in F1 with its hopes pegged too high following claims that it would be challenging the midfield.
While the Hingham-based team has again established itself as the best of the third division teams, ahead of fellow 2010 newcomers Marussia Virgin and HRT, but continues to struggle when it comes to bridging the gap to the likes of Toro Rosso and Williams, which currently prop up the midfield battle behind Sauber, Force India and, latterly, Lotus Renault.
"I'd say we were a little bit too optimistic at the beginning of the season, because we thought we could be half grid, while we are not," Trulli conceded to 422race.com
, "We have to look to reality and, above all, work hard because, next year, we have to do this step forward that we didn't manage do to this year, because it would be good to finally be able to challenge for points, which we didn't manage to do in the last two years. But it's true [that] our is a new team, started from scratch, so we need to give them some time."
The Italian veteran, who announced an extension to his Team Lotus contract at Monza, also admitted that he has struggled throughout the 2011 campaign, even missing the German Grand Prix while the squad uprated its power steering system.
"I have to say it wasn't an easy season, but I always fought," he insisted, "I had lots of troubles adapting to the power steering, which has some problems, but, so far, I didn't go so bad, especially in the race, where I had very good performances. From now on, I should have the new power steering, with which I had a great feeling in the past, so I hope I'll find the speed I had in the race also in qualifying, which has always been my strong point in the past.