Romain Grosjean has said in his view Lotus should now be considered as one of the 'big teams' and he is confident the squad will have 'strong pace' again next weekend at the British Grand Prix.

Lotus has had a great season so far and the team is currently third in the Constructors' championship, ahead of Ferrari and Mercedes and only 11 points behind McLaren, who hold second. Grosjean and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen have both taken podiums and both have come close to winning. Indeed last time out in Valencia, the Frenchman looked well placed, until sidelined by alternator problems.

Grosjean is now keen to see what they can do at Silverstone and after making a 'real step forwards' at the European GP, he is bullish about his and the teams prospects.

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"I think we head to Silverstone with more confidence. We understand a few more things with the car," he said. "It was good to have a really hot weekend all the way through at Valencia as we were able to work on the car and really analyse things.

"Silverstone is very high speed and I'm confident we'll have strong pace and that should lead to a good race.

"I was very close to what could have been my first win in Valencia, and at the location of my F1 debut too! It would have made a nice story, but reality doesn't always follow the script.

"It was a fantastic race until I had the problem. I was fighting with world champions in Lewis [Hamilton], Sebastian [Vettel] and Fernando [Alonso], and I was right with them on pace. It was unbelievable for me and I'm pleased with the way the team is working. We made a real step forwards in Valencia, understanding some performance considerations which will help us for the rest of the season. I can't wait to put them into practice at Silverstone.

"Ultimately, we didn't finish, but through no fault of our own. I was as sad as the team. The win was there for the taking, but it just got away. I have to be patient. I didn't achieve my first win in Valencia, but I am convinced that it will come.

"It's great to fight with World Champions, proper big teams. We are now a big team," he concluded.