Lotus chairman Gerard Lopez has asserted that new recruit Pastor Maldonado is 'unbelievably fast'.
Maldonado joined Lotus from Williams at the start of 2014 but has so far failed to reach Q3 or score a championship point.
But Lopez insists that the Venezuelan's pace is not a problem.
"We don’t have a number-one driver," he told The Official F1 Website.
"We never had one, even when Kimi [Raikkonen] was with us. Whoever is in front is in front! Romain [Grosjean] has matured a lot. He now feels comfortable in his shoes and that helps on the track and we know that he can do the job.
"Pastor we’ve known for a long time from GP2, as he’s been running with DAMS who are a team very close to us. He is unbelievably fast - every lap for him is something of a qualifying lap."
Lopez admits that Maldonado's style occasionally needs to be reined in - Maldonado crashed out of Q1 and hit Marcus Ericsson on his way to 15th in the Spanish Grand Prix. He has already amassed four penalty points across the opening five rounds of the year.
"Maybe he’s doing a bit too much and we need to sit down with him and work that out - tell him that in his case - with the speed that he has - most of the time 95 per cent would be enough," Lopez added.
"But he’s a nice guy and very accepted by the team."