Romain Grosjean was in a sprightly mood after getting his first laps at the wheel of the new Mercedes-powered Lotus E23, declaring himself 'a happy driver' despite his one and only day being curtailed by technical issues.

Lotus' belated debut on Monday meant Grosjean would get just one day in the car, but the Frenchman got up to speed fairly quickly before problems with the Mercedes power unit brought about an early end to his day after 53 laps.

Despite the relatively minimal running, Grosjean is nonetheless impressed with car's early feedback, which features a more conventional nose-section and a change of engine from Renault to Mercedes amongst its changes for F1 2015.

Related Articles

"Everyone was very much expecting our first opinion on the feeling of the car to be on the new power unit and chassis and everything has been going in right direction, which is very positive," he said.

"The whole package feels better. Engine-wise we know we have the best one on the grid and things are working nicely and in terms of chassis it is now the same story.

"I drove over 50 laps and enjoyed every one of them. We do have more set up items and bits and pieces for Barcelona but in generally it has been a very good starting point."

Grosjean enters into his fourth season with Lotus seeking a turnaround in fortunes after persistent problems with the E22 in 2014 consigned him to only a handful of points having stood on the podium six times in 2013. However, he is satisfied enough with the first impressions to call home and declare himself a 'happy driver'

"First impressions of the car really good because everything on the car that we didn't like has now gone. I struggled getting the car out of the garage but after that things went well.

"It's good to be back. It'd be better if we were on the podium at the end of the day, but I still call my wife when I get out of the car and say 'I'm a happy driver' which is what you want. It shows me we have a good starting point compared to last year."