Lotus say Romain Grosjean should not be blamed for the problems he is experiencing with his car at the moment.
While Kimi Raikkonen has scored a win and a second place in the first three races of the season, Grosjean is yet to finish inside the top five.
But Lotus technical director James Allison says: “The truth is that it’s certainly not Romain causing the problem.”
“Romain is fast, smooth and good at looking after tires, however we have not yet managed to give him a consistent car that lets him bring his talent to bear.
“It’s not him; it’s that we haven’t got it quite right for him yet and what seems to be clear from Kimi’s weekends is that the car is a tricky little beast to get just right. We have managed that with Kimi in two of the three races and we need to make sure we’ve giving Romain all the opportunity to shine as well.”
The problem was “very frustrating”, Grosjean admitted. “I would be lying if I said the car is exactly where I want it and we are having quite an adventure to get the setup and feeling from the car how we want it.”
He ended final practice in China with the 18th fastest time but rallied in qualifying to put the car sixth on the grid. After that he slipped back to ninth in the race.
“We struggled all weekend to get the balance right,” said Grosjean. “It felt a lot better in qualifying but in the race I just couldn’t find the performance.”
“I made a good start, climbed a few places and was sitting close behind Kimi for a short while, but then the tires just fell off the cliff and I dropped right back. As the race went on I ended up getting stuck in traffic which obviously didn’t help, but I still have some work to do to try and find more from the car.”