Mar.10 (GMM/ Romain Grosjean has played down the prospect of early podiums this year for Lotus.

After proving F1’s fourth force in 2012 and 2013, the Enstone team’s performance plummeted last year but it is looking to bounce back with a top Mercedes engine in 2015.

Indeed, Grosjean and teammate Pastor Maldonado have hailed the much-better E23 car after winter testing, but Frenchman Grosjean insists: “It’s too early to talk about podiums.

“I think you can say now that I will be reaching Q3 at times,” he told RMC Sport.

“Being in the top ten, scoring points, that is the primary objective. Then it will be the top five and then we can dream about the podium, but you have to climb the steps one after the other,” Grosjean added.

Lotus’ decline last year was arguably the result of significant personnel cuts after 2013, but Grosjean said the team has now corrected that with recruitment to “important positions” in the last six months.

“Between 2013 and 2014,” he said, “there were a lot of departures, but people that have since arrived have become accustomed to their roles and are now offering us the best solutions.”

Grosjean says he has also improved personally in the last six months, having often let his frustration boil over in 2014.

“Last year, I could have managed my frustration a little differently,” he admitted. “I could have chosen better words.

“I am working on that, but I am impulsive and that is also why my strength is the qualifying lap,” Grosjean smiled.