Pastor Maldonado believes Lotus has made "a big step" forward in performance thanks to a strong two days of testing in Spain.

While Charles Pic was second fastest on the opening day, Maldonado set the quickest time on Wednesday to ensure Lotus finished the test top of the timing screens. However, of more value to the team was the fact that Maldonado managed to complete over 100 laps having struggled in previous tests, and he said it had helped Lotus make significant progress.

Asked by Crash.net if he could notice a difference in performance, Maldonado replied; "For sure it's a big step forward.

"For sure these two days were important for us to keep continuing to developing settings, trying different things and we did a good programme. We were quite busy to be honest because we have been very busy on track throughout the day and we have learned a lot so hopefully it is going to be much better for the rest of the season for us."

On any upgrades, Maldonado said they weren't substantial but should help Lotus in its future development of the E22.

"We had some new parts; nothing very big but small and important things to test. So we have great data, now our engineers will take it to the factory and we will analyse it and we will have better analysis in a couple of days from the test."

And Maldonado was keen to focus on the reliability of the car rather than the headline lap time which saw him end the day on top.

"It was a complete day, actually our first normal test without any problems. Yesterday was quite good but the track was not at 100% so today was really important to be on the track and run through our plan, and we completed all of our plan which is very positive.

"Aside from the result I am very happy because we didn't have any big issues or problems around the car, it was all working quite good. We learned more from the car; it's getting better and better in my opinion."

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