"Some people say that F1 has become a lottery, but I don't agree," said Lotus team boss Eric Boullier. "I've found this season quite entertaining and also very challenging from an engineering point of view."

That's in contrast to a growing number of voices up and down pit lane - including other team managers, drivers and even media pundits - suggesting that the lack of any consistent top performers this year is hurting the sport.

Boullier's view, on other other hand, was that the challenging conditions so far this season simply put a premium on perfection.

"If you want to perform, you need to get your weekend absolutely right - the slightest setback can have a very negative effect on your performance over the rest of the weekend," he said. "We saw it with Kimi in Monaco, when he skipped the first session because of a steering issue, and also in Montreal, with a hydraulic failure in qualifying.

"You need to prepare for every race as meticulously as possible," he continued. "Nothing must be left to chance. We've come up with a very strong programme during free practice sessions which allows us to do our homework on the Friday without paying attention to what our opponents are doing."

So what's keeping Lotus from claiming their own maiden victory of 2012? Technical director James Allison reckoned that qualifying was their biggest Achilles Heel at the moment.

"We seem to have a car that is not among the very quickest in qualifying at the moment but has very good race pace," he said. "It's not a bad combination, and we'd rather have it this way round than the other, but if we want to win races we are going to have to improve our qualifying performances. It's not going to take much, we just need that little bit extra if we want to challenge for higher honours."

"The gap to the win is not that big," insisted Romain Grosjean. "We need to qualify better, that is not our strength this season but we are working on it.

"I'm mainly hoping for an improvement in qualifying [at Valencia,]" he added. "We'll see what happens from there. It's great to be fighting at the front and that's always what we want to do, but we're in a tight battle this season so of course the most important thing is to score some good points again for the team."

Kimi Raikkonen pointed to his poor qualifying in Montreal after suffering from a hydraulics problem on Saturday as being the reason why he wasn't able to match Grosjean's podium-winning performance last weekend in Canada.

"We thought it would be okay for overtaking in Canada, but it wasn't so easy in the end. The DRS zone wasn't very long and it didn't last for the whole straight," he explained. "It was frustrating; I never want to be stuck behind another car!"

If the Lotus team can get on top of qualifying at Valencia, there's no reason why either Raikkonen or Grosjean can't go on to become the eighth different winner of 2012 - and Boullier has high hopes his team can deliver exactly that.

"We've got one of the strongest pools of engineers in the paddock and they know what they're doing," he said. "We need to improve our qualifying pace and also the way the car performs when the temperature drops. We've got some ideas already. Some of them will be implemented in Valencia and we'll see how it goes."