Lotus deputy principal Federico Gastaldi predicts his team will make a significant leap forward towards the front of the F1 field in 2015 thanks to a 'huge, huge change' with its latest car, the E23 Hybrid.

Having won races in 2012 and 2013, Lotus slipped down the grid in 2014 after struggling to get a grasp on the latest generation regulations, issues exacerbated further by its underpowered and unreliable Renault power unit.

For 2015, Lotus has undergone one of the larger off-season changes by swapping to the Mercedes power unit, while the team has also adopted a visibly more conservative design compared with the unusual 'fork' nose of 2014.

With this in mind, Gastaldi believes an early development time and the lessons learned from a hard year will spur Lotus on to great successes in 2015 with its unchanged driver line-up of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.

"It is a huge, huge change from last year with this new engine and Mercedes, so for us it is a fantastic step forward," he said. "On the development of the car, we started working on it in the middle of last year and we have learned a lot from all of the things we went through, so we are hoping we are going to have a very competitive year.

"We learned a lot from all of the bad results and the bad experiences, but we have a fantastic deal of experience within the team so we are looking forward to bouncing back for this season.

Reflecting on the driver line-up, Gastaldo says Grosjean's efforts need no further introduction, but he believes Maldonado hasn't shown his best yet either.

"Romain has been with us a long time, we know he is a very fast driver. For Pastor, this is his second year with us so he has been very professional and positive for us. This year can only be better. He is a pleasure to work with and a fantastic fit, so the results will come with the new set-up of the car and the engine."



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