Lotus boss Gerard Lopez insists that Romain Grosjean is now showing his potential as the Frenchman seeks to end his 2013 campaign on a high.

Grosjean heads into the weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a fourth successive podium finish, having maintained his run of form in India last weekend despite failing to make it past the opening part of qualifying.

The former GP2 champion is now set to lead the Genii-owned team into the 2014 season with a deal set to be confirmed in the near future and Lopez said he was impressed with the way in which the 27-year-old had performed during the second half of the year.

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"We claimed for a long time that Romain has what it takes to become one of the great Formula 1 drivers and we're really seeing that now," he said. "He has natural speed, but he's also skilled in the way very few drivers are.

"We stuck with Romain because we knew about the talent that he had; we were convinced of it. Now everyone knows how good he is - so the fact that Romain's performing at the level that he has now reached of course makes us extremely happy - but it's no more than confirmation to us. Why wouldn't we have kept Romain if it's not what we've said all along? He has been gifted with speed that very few drivers have in Formula 1.

"We were speaking about Kimi before, and with the car we have and the drivers we have, there's no question that we probably have the best driver pairing in Formula 1 right now."

Grosjean's improved form has come at the ideal time for the Enstone-based team as it seeks to close in on Mercedes and Ferrari in the race for second in the constructors' championship and Lopez said he was proud of the way his team was ending the campaign.

"It's very satisfying when you have a team that everyone acknowledges to be smaller than the four or five top fighting not only ahead of those with comparable budgets, but also ahead of most of the bigger teams too," he said. "It appears there's a sense of pride every weekend that cannot really be underestimated. It's certainly a case of David and Goliath that repeats itself pretty much every season. We've had some challenges like taking an ambitious technical route with the forward facing exhausts in 2011 and we've had challenges such as the change of tyre specs, but every time this team has been able to get up and react and punch even higher and stronger. The one thing we need to be very proud of is that we never stop fighting.

"The fact is we've scored more points from the last four or five races than anyone other than Red Bull, and that's pretty much where we've been all year long - a couple of exceptions aside - with the end of the season now fast approaching. For anyone to look at Enstone now and say 'these guys don't know how to develop,' I don't think anyone would dare to say that. I think we're very proud about the way we keep responding to the challenges we face."