Pastor Maldonado says he is pleased to see Lotus fighting to turn its season around after a difficult start to 2014.

Lotus was beset with reliability issues - some relating to the Renault power unit - after launching its car at the second pre-season test and has been playing catch-up ever since. Maldonado has yet to score a point in his seven races with the team since switching from Williams, but speaking exclusively to he said the team has pulled together during the tough early races and is encouraged to see how close it can get to the likes of Ferrari and McLaren at times.

"It's a great team, great people with very experienced guys and the factory is always working well," Maldonado said. "For sure we are not having the best year ever for the team, but this is part of life and part of the experience. We need to be strong in the tough moments. It's then that you see the real teams staying together and keeping fighting until the end.

"We are doing that, we are fighting. There is big motivation behind us, a big push from every single point - driving, factory, aerodynamic, engine as well - so we are trying to put everything together because now you can see apart from Mercedes the teams behind until us are quite close. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but the delta is not that big. It's important to keep going like this, not lose distance against the others because the reliability issues we are having will finish at some point.

"This is technology, we need to understand that especially when they are new you can have these kinds of problems. We just need to stay calm and the results will come because we have a good car and a good team. Maybe not the best car at the moment, we're having a lot of problems at the same time so we are not the fastest and we have a lot of problems. You can imagine how it feels."

Asked when he believes Lotus can return to a similar level to last season, Maldonado replied: "We'll see, it's difficult to say.

"Previous years were a very simple situation in Formula One because the engines were very tested, now it depends on many factors, it's not only one. It will be very difficult, very tough, but it will be possible for sure. Hopefully soon."