Pastor Maldonado remains confident that he can challenge for a top ten finish in the Spanish Grand Prix despite a crash during Q1 leaving him at the back of the grid, describing the car as good enough to be 'fifth or sixth'.

On the day Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean secured a season's best fifth on the grid, oversteer on the exit of turn three during the Q1 session would see Maldonado spin into the wall to leave him without a time for the session.

A disappointment in light of Lotus' upturn in form so far this weekend, Maldonado - who will start 21st by virtue of Jean-Eric Vergne's grid penalty - is nonetheless pleased to have a more competitive car beneath him.

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"I had a big chance of doing well in the session but unfortunately I lost the car with big snap oversteer in the exit of the corner in turn 3. We need to have a look at what happened and work to get ready for tomorrow

"There is not one particular thing that has improved, we have just put it all together. The car is working much better at this track, which is a clear step forward."

"I am starting where I don't want to start, but we need to look forward. We have a new set of tyres, which is a big advantage at this track, so let's see. I will do my best. If everything runs as planned, we will be fighting for the points."

Reflecting on the gains the E22 has enjoyed this weekend, the Venezuelan believes he now has a car that can challenge for the 'top five or six'.

"I think we are competing from P3 to P10. Maybe not 100 per cent a podium car, but we did a big step and I think we need another step to be more solid, but the best of the car is around fifth and sixth."