Gerard Lopez, co-owner of the Lotus F1 team, says he is targeting a top four championship finish for the team during the 2012 season.
The former Renault
team heads into the new campaign having taken fifth last season when a year which promised much ultimately failed to deliver.
Having suffered a huge blow before a wheel was turned when Robert Kubica
was injured in a rallying accident, the team started the season well as Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld
took a podium finish apiece in the opening two races of the year.
However, the Enstone-based team then dropped back as the season wore on – hampered somewhat by the radical exhaust system in place on the car – and ended 2011 having just managed to see off Force India
to take fifth place.
Eager to return to form this season with a new-look line-up of Kimi Raikkonen
and Romain Grosjean, Lopez insisted that the top four in the championship was the target as Lotus aims to move back towards the front of the field.
“The launch of the E20 today is another step for us towards our goal of winning World Championships; to follow the precedent set by Benetton and Renault," he said. "The E20 is the first car to have been designed using our 60 per cent scale wind tunnel and our upgraded CFD facility. We have new drivers; a world champion with Kimi and a tremendous talent for the future with Romain. There are a lot of positives about our team in 2012.
“Last season was tough for us, there's no secret of that, but we showed good potential, especially early in the year. In 2012 we want to finish in fourth position or higher in the championship.
"Beyond that our aspirations are higher. Benetton won world championships in 1994-5. Renault
won titles in 2005-6. We want to continue that cycle.”