Nick Chester has warned against expecting a sudden change in form, saying Lotus need time to resolve their issues.
Having skipped the opening test of the pre-season, Lotus were always on the back foot and that continued into the opening grand prix in Australia.
The team managed just a handful of laps in practice and were consistently at the bottom of the timesheets, which is also where they qualified.
Their troubles were again present in Sunday's race where Pastor Maldonado retired on lap 29 and Romain Grosjean on lap 44. That, though, was at least more laps that Lotus have covered on any other one day.
"Everyone in the team worked really hard for Melbourne," said technical director Nick Chester.
"In my 14 years at Enstone I cannot remember a more intense period of work, and for there to be no tangible reward for it is tough to take, but we knew that this would likely be the case.
"It was disappointing we were not quicker and unable to attain a truly representative position on the grid.
"But everyone understood there are so many new parts and so much new technology for 2014, so we knew it was going to be difficult for everything to work straight away and achieve a positive result.
"We are now addressing these issues one by one and making clear, quantifiable progress."
Chester, though, warned that it will still take time for Lotus to bounce back and that it may not be before the European leg kicks off in May.
"It is difficult to make a strong prediction after the weekend we have just had in Australia, especially with the limited mileage under our belt.
"I'm certainly hoping for an improvement for Malaysia, and then some more in Bahrain, although as they are back to back it is likely to be small steps.
"It may well be Barcelona (the Spanish Grand Prix on May 11) before we are in a more stable position and competing at the level we want to be at.
"One thing's for certain, we're not sitting back. We're pushing all the way with the focus on extracting the maximum from the car."