Romain Grosjean says the Australian Grand Prix proved Lotus can expect to be challenging for regular points despite both himself and team-mate Pastor Maldonado being eliminated on the opening lap.

Having qualified inside the top ten, technical issues proceeded to consign Grosjean to the sidelines just moments after the lights went green, while Maldonado made it only as far as the first corner when he was spun into the barriers.

Despite this, Grosjean says there are plenty of positives to take away from the opener as he turns his attentions to the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang as it appears Lotus already has a car capable of the being well inside top ten despite it being relatively early in its development cycle with the Mercedes power unit.

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"Our target for the early races is to be regularly in the top ten," he said. "We certainly demonstrated that in Albert Park and our race pace simulations were good so if we'd remained in the race we should have finished strongly. There's nothing to suggest this can't be the case in Malaysia and we really want to start scoring points.

"Albert Park was quite a strong weekend in terms of getting on top of the car, finding strong pace and a good balance and demonstrating good potential, but it was a very brief in terms of race laps, or should I say a race lap?!

"It was unfortunate that our race was very short because of quite a simple issue, but it's something everyone back at Enstone has been working on. I'm sure we'll have a much better race in Sepang."