Pastor Maldonado said it was power unit issues that were again at the centre of Lotus' problems during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Having struggled at the Australian Grand Prix, both cars failed to finish the race in Melbourne but gathered data after issues in pre-season testing. Having had two weeks to work on the car and with Renault, Lotus still suffered another bad day on Friday at Sepang as it managed just 20 laps in total between both cars.

Maldonado confirmed that the problems were once again related to the Renault power unit but retained his optimism that the car can run smoothly on Saturday.

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Asked by in Malaysia where the issues were centred, Maldonado replied: "In my case it was around the engine, so the power unit.

"I think we had a problem first with the battery and then with the turbo. It's a bit difficult but it's what we have at the moment. To be strong for tomorrow if we are able to fix all the problems then I think it will be enough to do FP3 and go straight through to qualifying. If everything works then it will be important for the team and it's important for me to be able to test the car and start to push, which was not the case in the first race; we were really conservative. Hopefully it will be a better situation.

"Every time we're expecting to be better and better. We've been working so hard, the mechanics, the engineers, we've been all together in the factory trying to fix all the problems together with Renault. Renault is pushing very hard as well but we have been a bit unlucky, we need to say. We just need to try to be strong enough to accept when we have a problem and strong enough when everything will be OK for us and be ready to react and attack immediately."

Team-mate Romain Grosjean admitted he was getting frustrated with the ongoing problems but backed Lotus to recover soon.

"We have to work and try to solve all our issues," Grosjean said. "We are focusing on every issue we encounter. This morning we couldn't do any laps, and this afternoon we burnt a cable which stopped the gearbox from working.

"Of course I don't get out of the car with a smile when my car is parked out on track and is not working, and you do swear a little bit in your head! But as I've said before, it's only the second race of the season and we always knew we would be starting on the back foot. We will get to where we want to be."