Pastor Maldonado admits that Lotus has a lot of work still to do ahead of the new F1 season after sampling his new car for the first time proper during testing in Bahrain.

Having elected to miss the opening test of the campaign in Spain, the four-day session at the Sakhir circuit marked the public bow for the new E22, which features a unique twin tusk nose.

The Venezuelan ended up positing the quickest time amongst the Renault-powered drivers and managed to put 85 laps on the board during his time on track and he admitted that his initial view of the new car was positive despite the work still required to get fully up to speed.

Related Articles

"We stopped once with a small issue but I feel positive," he said following the final day of running. "For sure there are areas where we can improve, and I hope we can improve next week. There is a lot of work to do especially with the lack of laps we have done so far, which isn't enough.

"However, in the last two days we have learned a lot that will be crucial for next week. Our pace is okay and there is still time to find, as we aren't at 100 per cent. We will do our best to be at 100 per cent [by Australia], but if we aren't then we will have to work hard at the races [to improve]."

Lotus now faces a quick turnaround ahead of the final four day test back at the Sakhir circuit this coming week, and Maldonado admitted that the time between the two sessions would be crucial for the Enstone-based squad as it seeks to learn more about its new machine.

"The four days are very important with the data that we have collected to help the team to learn the car," he said. "There is quite a lot to get used to with the new systems and in terms of improving reliability, which will be key in the early part of the season.

"We are getting better and we were the quickest Renault car which is positive for us."