Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has warned their doubters that the E22 will become a fighting force in Formula 1 this season.
Neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado finished the Australian Grand Prix but newly appointed Gastaldi remains confident that the team can fight back.
"I’d say wait and see what we can really achieve with the E22," Gastaldi said when asked what he'd say to Lotus's critics. "If you look at it logically, Renault are the reigning world championship winning engine partner, so how is it possible to go from there to nothing? They will deliver the right package to all of us which will enable Lotus to be at the front once again.
"We’re a smaller team - we’re not Mercedes or Ferrari or McLaren, but we have enormous pure racing spirit. This team has been around a long time and we have people here from the glory days, who have passed on the philosophy and ethos of the team’s renowned spirit and passion. We are ready to fight!"
Gastaldi reckons the next couple of races will be a learning process for Lotus ahead of the sport's return to Europe in May.
"To keep learning," he said of Lotus's aims for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. "I would be dancing faster than the music if I said something different! We need to keep learning and if everything goes as we anticipate, in collaboration with Renault, then we will be in a position to continue progressing for Bahrain and when the Championship comes back to Europe in May."