It was a case of better than expected in the Australian Grand Prix after a weekend of challenges in the garage for Lotus F1 Team.
Both cars completed sustainable racing laps as the illustration of progress being made from the difficult start to the season endured by the squad.
Despite some positives, it was ultimately a frustrating weekend, with both Romain and Pastor ending their days early, parked in the Park, Pastor on lap 29 and Romain on lap 44.
“I expected to do around 15 to 20 laps in the race after all the issues we’ve had this weekend, and we managed 45!" said Romain.
"We’ve learnt a lot today and all the changes made to the car have been positive. We still have a long way to go, but at least I know more about tyre usage, all my engineers know where we need to improve with the chassis, and we’ve learnt a lot about aero balance and fuel consumption. Of course there's more to do with the energy management and recovery and some work yet with the braking. We’ve still got lots of work to do, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction."
Pastor displayed a similar ability to always look on the bright side of life.
“If you look at the positives we did more laps than in the pre-season which is quite encouraging as we have more data which is very important for making progress," he said.
"We had a very negative free practice but we did plenty of laps during the race which is very positive for the team. I'm looking forward to the next race and we'll keep pushing."
There was nothing but praise for the team from the new deputy in town, Federico Gastaldi.
"Though the results do not show it, everyone in the team has done a fantastic job in very challenging circumstances," said Federico. "Both our cars finished with problems related to the same MGU-K component so we and Renault F1 Sport both know where we have to focus for our improvements heading to Malaysia. It’s clear we also have other improvements to make, but the team spirit and resolve has not diminished. We know what we have to do and we will do it.”
Underlining the steely resolve which permeates through the very fabric of Enstone, Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane is very clear about the focus moving forwards.
"We accept we're way behind, but we're working hard to catch up," said Alan. "It's not the way we want to go racing. We need to make a big leap forward in Malaysia and we’re working every hour to ensure we make this leap. I'm very sure and very confident that we’ll see a big improvement in two weeks’ time."