James Thompson has said it will take time for LADA to be successful in the World Touring Car Championship.
Speaking after the first two events and ahead of the next round in Slovakia this weekend, the Briton admitted that he thinks there will be 'lots of opportunities for good results' in 2013, despite a troubled start to the year.
Indeed he believes the LADA Granta he is using in 2012 is a big step forward from the Priora he drove in 2009, in which he claimed two top six finishes at Imola which remain LADA's best WTCC result to date.
“Everything is a big step forward from the Priora,” he confirmed, ”the whole car, the aerodynamics, chassis, and suspension. Our starting platform is much higher than we had before.
“If you look at the Chevrolet team, their highest result was fourth in their first year of participation. It doesn't happen overnight. You can't just produce the car, arrive and win the championship. It's hard work, step- by-step improving of the car. It's a development programme.
“You need at least three years to develop; it's like a small seed. The plant doesn't become a beautiful tree straight away, it takes time. It's the same with the car. I don't know anybody who comes to the Championship and dominates there straight away.
"It's a professional sport, first you get a podium, then another one and then you start winning podiums consistently. Consistency – that's one of the main factors. You have to be patient.”
Meanwhile Thompson added that LADA's return has been welcomed in the WTCC paddock.
"They were pleased to have us back," he said. "It's always good for the championship to have a manufacturer's team. Moreover we've come with a new and competitive car, and this is a challenge for other participants."
The four-time race winner knows that the cars improved performance will add up to 'good results' at future races.
"In two races in 2012 we were in the middle of the grid," he said. "In testing we were in the top ten. We showed some of the performance of the car is much better now, and the results of the second round in Marrakech confirm that. We keep improving; 12 rounds, 24 races. Lots of opportunities to have good results!"