Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane said he was happy to see Romain Grosjean leading the fight against Red Bull following Friday practice for the Indian Grand Prix.

The Frenchman, who heads into the weekend on the back of podium finishes in the last two races, was third fastest behind Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and the only other man alongside Webber to lap within half a second of the outright pace.

"That was a good start to the weekend," he reflected. "The car feels good and we made progress through the day to make it better. It's still a struggle to find grip here which can make things interesting as you find the limits, but the pace of our car relative to our rivals looks quite good.

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"I'm hopeful of another solid day tomorrow which should give us another strong qualifying position if the evidence of today is anything to go by. We'll do everything we can to take the fight to Red Bull."

While team-mate Kimi Raikkonen struggled with the balance of his car, the Finn ended up eighth quickest after FP2, leaving Permane confident about the remainder of the weekend.

"It was a difficult morning for Kimi who wasn't happy with the balance of his car so his engineers made a reasonable amount of changes to the set-up over lunch, meaning the car was much more to his liking in the afternoon," he said. "Romain was generally happy with his car and just made minor changes to the set-up to get it 100 per cent to his liking.

"We completed a good number of laps on low and high fuel with both tyres and we're looking in strong shape. The Red Bulls are unfortunately looking incredibly quick, but we're leading the charge behind them."