The Lotus F1 team is aiming to usurp one of F1's current 'big three' from their position at the head of this constructors' championship, according to chairman Gerard Lopez.
Speaking in the wake of this week's launch of the E21 at Enstone, the financier insisted that is was important to build on a successful 2012 campaign, which ultimately yielded a win for Kimi Raikkonen in Abu Dhabi to complement nine other podium finishes.
“Last year was an exciting season for us,” Lopez confirmed, “We finished on the podium ten times, we won a grand prix and we comfortably achieved our objective of fourth in the constructors' championship - a strong endorsement of all the hard work we've put in at Enstone over the past three years.
“We launch the E21 with lofty aspirations. Our 2012 challenger – the E20 – was a superb racing car; on occasions last season the fastest on track against significant opposition. With the E21, we want to build on this and achieve even better results.
“We took a fantastic step forward in 2012 so, naturally, we want to build on that and do better. Better than fourth place in the constructors' championship means third position or better. Better than third position in the drivers' championship means second position or better. These are lofty targets, but the only way to improve is to set yourself goals. The competition intensifies nearer everyone's goal of victory, but we are ready for that battle.”
Lotus will field an unchanged line-up of Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in 2013, despite the Frenchman having come in for criticism for a string of early-race incidents last year. Lopez, however, insists that the gamble many perceived that the team was taking in 2012 is worth repeating this time around.
“Last year, some people thought we took something of a risk employing two drivers who had been out of F1 for two years but, with Kimi finishing in third position in the drivers' championship, we demonstrated that Enstone created the perfect environment for him to flourish.
“Romain, too, demonstrated exceptional pace and drove some superb races in his first full season of F1 and we're all looking forward to building on his exciting debut season through 2013.”