Alan Permane, director of trackside operations for Lotus, has admitted that the team needs to improve its qualifying performance in order to challenge for victory this season.
Despite four podium finishes – two apiece for Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean – the team has yet to pick up a victory, while Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have all taken turns on the top step of the podium.
Race pace has been strong for Lotus at most of the events so far this season but the team has been unable to replicate that form over a single lap in qualifying, with Permane admitting that improvements need to be made if the team wanted to challenge for victories.
“We have been struggling in qualifying; that is where we need to work," he told SPEED.com
. "I think some of that is driver, and some of that is car, and I think Romain would acknowledge himself that he's not 100 percent comfortable with things in qualifying, but stick some fuel in it and get into a nice rhythm, and it's fine."
Grosjean's run to the podium in Montreal came after the team took a decision to run a one-stop strategy in the race and Permane said the E20 had been a major factor in the ability to use the strategy on race day.
"I don't want to take anything away from the drivers, but a lot of it is the car,” he said. “It's no accident that two drivers can make a one-stop work in this car, and two drivers in the Ferrari can't make it work.
"Fernando Alonso is a fantastic driver, and if anyone can make a one-stop work, he can. So that's down to the car, but the drivers are then doing their bit to make that work, for sure."