Lotus improved by two-seconds in China - Lopez

Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 11:00 by TF1T Staff 

Lotus F1 Team, LAT

Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez believes the outfit made a two-second step forward in China thanks to engine equality from Renault.

It's widely known that Renault are focusing its updates on Red Bull and Toro Rosso before they filter down to Lotus and Caterham one or two races later.

Lotus finally received the updated power unit for the Chinese Grand Prix, which Red Bull and its sister team had been using in Bahrain and Lopez believes it's seen the team make a major gain.

"We saw a clear step up from Renault's side in China," he is quoted as saying by Autosport. "The guys are almost talking about two seconds, which is huge.

"The car is good. Romain [Grosjean] had some diffuser issues on Saturday, but based on lap times and derivatives of that, we probably should have gone for P6 [in qualifying] if we hadn't have had any issues.

"That is really where we believe the car belongs, despite knowing the Mercedes engine cars don't even need DRS to go around us."

Lopez recently demanded equality from Renault, and its believed all four teams will receive a major update for the Spanish GP where the Belgian businessman expects a further step forward.

"Renault is promising a fairly interesting step up for Barcelona," he added.

"We're pretty hopeful we start coming into the top 10, and from then on it's fighting it out with whoever is there.

"Ever since I saw the issues we were having with the power unit, I've essentially said our first race is going to be Barcelona, and I stick to that."

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