Romain Grosjean believes he could have got his Lotus in to Q3 during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

After a lack of running in both Australia and FP1 in Malaysia, Lotus ran reliably on Saturday and Grosjean was able to make it through to the second part of qualifying in the wet conditions. However, he didn't pit for fresh tyres late in Q2 and eventually spun in the final sector on worn tyres, admitting that a new pair of intermediates could have seen him progress in to the top 10.

"I would have been on the edge to be honest," Grosjean said. "It would have been very close and maybe possible but then we would have had to change tyres and so on and afterwards it's easy to say. We were trying to get the state of the charge, the turbo and all of the car working properly and all that kind of thing."

Related Articles

Despite that missed opportunity, Grosjean was clearly encouraged by the amount of consistent running Lotus had managed on Saturday.

"As long as you don't perform as you like it's frustrating but at the moment we don't have to focus on performance but just on trying to test the thing and improve. I think the whole day has been a positive day in that we didn't have any issues, we tried something in FP3 which didn't really work so we came back and went out with the car.

"Conditions on track weren't perfect so we discovered more things where we could work to improve that [grip], then went to qualifying. It was the first time we ran the car in the wet, so you never know."

However, Grosjean said the target remained for Lotus to just complete the race on Sunday even though it looks to be improving its pace. Asked by Crash.net if the goal had changed after Friday's running, Grosjean replied: "I won't dream about the podium or something like that!

"I wish I was but it would be taking everything the wrong way. So of course first we have to get to the end of the race - which would be nice - and then here with the forecast of weather then everything's possible.

"In the wet we have got a good performance so that would be a help, and then if it is dry I can get some more mileage and I can get some more understanding of the car."