Team Lotus struggled with tyre temperatures and technical problems as they failed to progress out of Q1 in Australia.
Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli qualified in 19th and 20th for the Australian Grand Prix ahead of the other newer teams but well down on where they expect to be.
Offseason investment by the team has not paid off and the car was a huge three seconds away from making it through Q1 as the drivers struggled with technical issues and generating heat in the tyres.
Kovalainen explained: “Unfortunately the rear wing was stuck in the high downforce configuration for the second run which definitely masked the real pace there is in the car.”
“We’ve also struggled with getting the most out of the tyres all weekend but I think the increased temperatures tomorrow will suit the car much more and we’ll be in good shape to show what we can really do in the race.”
Despite an ultimately disappointing weekend so far Team Lotus are optimistic for the future once they can fix the tyre performance and iron out reliability issues.
Technical Director Mike Gascoyne added: “I think that we have definitely taken a step forward in qualifying. We have been struggling to get temperature into the tyres all weekend, and have had some issues with the power steering, but we made significant progress in qualifying.”
“On the positive side the tyre warm-up issues will be much better in the race and looking ahead I am very confident that we can get back to the level of performance we showed in winter testing as we continue through the early part of the season.”