Once Lotus have resolved their reliability issues, Romain Grosjean is confident his team will be fighting at the front of the pack.
Debuting their E22 after the first pre-season test - and later than all their rivals - Lotus lost out on valuable track-time in which to work on the car's reliability.
As a result the team finished the final test with the least number of laps and at the very bottom of the timesheets.
But despite their difficulties, Grosjean believes Lotus' E22 has the potential to win races in the future.
"At the moment we are far to be favourite to be in a good position, but that doesn't mean that we don't work hard and we don't believe that we can win races," the Frenchman told Autosport.
"It's hard to say. On paper yes [the car has potential to win], but so far we haven't been able to run it properly on track.
"It has been a disastrous winter for us. Renault has their issue, we have got ours, but we've learned a few things from the little running we did and all those things - if we can get it right - is already a step forward.
"And I'm sure Renault is improving the software and things will get better there as well. The car is good."
However, given the choice between a reliable car and a quick one, Grosjean admits he'd rather be starting this season with a fast car that broke down.
"I would honestly prefer to be leading the race for 20 laps and then break everything, rather than being four seconds off the pace and finish the race.
"It adds a little bit of pressure that you have to learn on a race weekend, which is not ideal.
"But it is what it is right now and there's nothing we can do except take things as they come and tick the boxes as much as we can."
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