Romain Grosjean says he feels he is making good progress in F1 this season and is benefitting from the fact that the Lotus team has given him a car capable of running towards the front of the field.

Having returned to the F1 grid for the first time since his half-season with Renault back in 2009, Grosjean bounced back from a difficult start to the season to produce a series of impressive performances - including podium finishes in Bahrain and Canada.

Although alternator problems caused him to retire in Valencia, Grosjean once again ran near the front of the field and he said he was happy at the fact he was being given the opportunity to challenge towards the head of the pack.

"It's nice to be able to fight for the front with Lewis, Fernando with Sebastian Vettel, all the big guys," he said.." We have a car, which is very competitive, and the factory is doing a fantastic job. It's good to be here, good to be able to get a lot of experience by fighting with the big teams and the top drivers and hopefully at the next one we get a little bit more luck and I can got to first place.

"I think you progress every time you're in the car. It's difficult with no testing to improve yourself so every race weekend you learn something new, in terms of set-up, in terms of driving, in terms of tyre management or whatever, and for sure when you fight at the front you learn even more than when you are at the back."

Grosjean also insisted that he didn't see his earlier spell on the grid with Renault as a mistake despite the difficulties he faced having come in to replace Nelson Piquet Jr.

"It was not a mistake, it was as it was and it was a good experience being with Fernando in the team," he said. "It taught me a lot and all the experience I got in 2009 is now in my pocket. I think then it was a little bit of a difficult time but I'm back today, very happy to be and very proud to be part of Lotus and everything I've learned is very important today."