Pastor Maldonado believes Lotus will be capable of fighting for "good places" in China next weekend.

Maldonado suffered his second successive DNF of the season in Malaysia last weekend and after being taken out at the first corner in Australia, was again in the wars at the start in Sepang.

This time, however, he could continue, although he had to retire nine laps from the end with a brake problem.

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"It was frustrating [to get that puncture at the start], especially as by the time I'd caught up with the cars ahead we'd developed an issue with the brakes so it was difficult to attack! It's racing. I've been a bit unlucky, especially in the first corners of the first two races but on the other hand we have a car which is more competitive and this says that we can fight for points through the season," Maldonado said in the countdown to the third round in the F1 2015 World Championship.

"The potential of the car is there, we just need to put everything together and the results will come soon."

"I think we should be in a similar position [in China] to that we've been in for the first and second race, so fighting for the top ten in qualifying and then in the race," he added.

"Let's see what the track conditions are like, the weather, how the car feels and how good a set-up we can get.

"I'm confident we should be fighting for good places."

Asked what he will need to do to ensure he gets through the first corner in Shanghai unscathed, he replied: "The first corner of a Grand Prix is always thrilling as you have to balance the opportunities to make up places with the risk of losing them. Certainly in the first two races this season I've been the victim of other drivers' incidents and that's racing sometimes.

"The first corners in Shanghai are quite interesting as you've got a decent run down to the right-hander that is turn one, but that flows straight into the tightening turn two so it can get pretty busy!

"I'm just looking forward to getting out in action there and hoping for a clean weekend when we should be able to get some points."