Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has said he believes Romain Grosjean is a future F1 world champion.

Grosjean took his first F1 podium last weekend in Bahrain and Boullier added that he was very pleased with the Frenchman's drive, something that showed he is now 'ready to compete at the highest level'.

"You know what impressed me most, more than just the podium finish, was his speed and his racing," Boullier told AFP. "More than the podium finish, what was impressive is the fact that he finished so close to Kimi [Raikkonen in the sister car] and just 10 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel.

"I was not expecting to have both drivers to finish so close together and that is good for us and for him. It means that he is now capable and ready to compete at the highest level. He has the speed and the talent to be world champion one day."

Meanwhile, Boullier added that the role of the tyres is pivotal this season and can make all the difference in determining who finishes where.

"It is key to get your car into a position where you can exploit the tyres in the right way. It makes no sense to try and bring a couple of tenths from downforce if you don't understand the tyres - because this year you can lose a lot more," he explained.

"But you have to [also] keep developing the car if you want to keep contact with the top teams."