Romain Grosjean believes third place on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix was possible, even if he is otherwise pleased to be heading up an all-Lotus row three lock-out at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Harking back to 2013 when Lotus were regular Q3 contenders, Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado translated their eye-catching free practice pace through to qualifying by securing fifth and sixth on the grid, the team's best combined qualifying effort for two years.

Indeed, the Frenchman had hinted at even better having topped Q1 and posted impressive speed trap figures, but while he feels the second row behind Mercedes was in the offing, he is otherwise delighted with fifth.

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"I could have probably been P3, so I think it is better to be on the clean side, so P5 is probably better than P4. If everything had been perfect, third could have been possible. But coming here, 5 and 6 is already a good result."

Looking ahead to the race, Grosjean has further reason to feel optimistic, saying the E23's long run pace is potentially better than Williams'.

"It felt pretty good yesterday. We did one in the morning and the car felt great. We did it basically on soft tyres but the car felt good, no big tyre degradation so it is quite consistent here. It was better than the Williams so hopefully it will be better in the race."