Romain Grosjean believes the Lotus E22 is "starting to feel like a real racer" after a tough opening third to the season.

Neither Lotus finished the first race in Australia following a tough pre-season of testing but since then the team has made steady progress, with Grosjean finishing eighth in both Spain and Monaco. Canada proved more difficult as the deficit from the Renault power unit was even more evident than usual, but Grosjean said the signs were encouraging that Lotus is going in the right direction.

"I am positive," Grosjean said. "Even though the end result in Canada might not show it, we've actually made good progress with the car and it's starting to feel like a real racer in how it handles and how all the systems feel. This is very important to me as it helps you get the most out of the car through every corner to make the most of every lap.

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"Certainly at the start of the season this new generation of car was not the easiest or the most pleasurable thing to drive, but I'm being won round! The feel of the car is an important aspect of the improvements being made so it's another piece in the jigsaw."

And Grosjean is confident that Lotus will be more competitive in Austria than at recent races thanks to the layout of the track.

"We won't know for sure until we've been out on track, but I don't think the circuit should be as much of a challenge to us as Monaco or Montr?al. Certainly there are fewer low speed corners which seem to have been more difficult for us this season and the downforce level could suit us better too."