Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier was pulling no punches at the launch of the team's E21 on Monday evening, claiming that he 'wants to play with the big boys' this year.
The Enstone team became the first to unveil its 2013 challenger when the covers were pulled back live online and on Sky Sports News
by drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Underneath lay a car similar in appearance to the promising E20 of last year, a result of barely altered regulations, but the determination to stand out from the rest of the chasing pack was as evident in Boullier's comments as it was in the red flashes that now adorn the flanks and airbox of the new machine.
“I think it is fair to say that great things are possible,” the Frenchman opined, “The leap we made from 2011 to 2012 showed what we are capable of. Add to this the continuity and potential of our driver line-up and we have a very powerful cocktail for the season ahead.
“Our ambitious plan to turn ourselves into one of the top teams in F1 is coming to fruition and now we need to harness this with strong and regular podium results.”
As the Enstone facility enters its 21st year – a figure recognised by the numbering of the new car – Boullier believes that it is time for the team to 'come of age', with certain advantages that will allow it to go head-to-head with the likes of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari on track throughout the coming season.
“We are lean and hungry,” he pointed out, “Enstone knows how to win championships, but it is a while since we have won one, so we are very eager to taste glory again.
“We have a fantastic facility at Enstone, and one which has benefitted from significant and strategic investment over the past couple of years. We have a highly accomplished technical and design team who, last year, produced a fantastic car, the E20. The E21 builds on this.
“We also have a superb driver line-up with the 2007 champion, Kimi, and a hungry young gun in Romain. We have further strength in our partners and we are certainly primed and ready for action.”
Having taken a combined ten podiums, but just one win – courtesy of Raikkonen in Abu Dhabi – Boullier says that there is just one 'formal' goal for the squad in 2013.
“We want to do better than we did last year,” he stressed, “2012 was a good season for us - certainly in the context of the previous season - but we, like every team in this highly competitive sport, want to win. We want to make regular appearances on the podium, and add to our tally of appearances on the top step.”