Eric Boullier and James Allison are confident Lotus can maintain their early pace

Team will introduce a number of upgrades in Barcelona

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 03/05/13 5:02pm

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Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier is confident the team will remain competitive as the development battle begins in earnest in Spain.

Whilst teams will make minor tweaks to their cars during the first four flyaway races, traditionally it is when the Championship returns to Europe that any major packages are introduced.

Lotus have had at least one car on the podium in all but one of races this season, including a victory for Kimi Raikkonen at the Australian Grand Prix. That early form sees the team sitting second in the Constructors' Championship and Boullier is hopeful the Enstone-based team can remain competitive.

"We have a strong development programme for the E21 and I'm confident we can continue to improve it through the year, just as we did with the E20 before it," the Frenchman said.

"Most teams tend to bring a fairly major upgrade package to the first European race of the season and we'll be no exception. I'm very pleased with how the development of this car is progressing and I think there's plenty more to come from us."

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Technical Director James Allison says the team have a raft of updates planned for the Circuit de Catalunya, but that there will no radical additions to the E21.

"Nothing revolutionary, but plenty which should help us go faster," Allison added.

"We have new front wing endplate detailing, new aero around the rear drums, modifications to the diffuser and a different top rear wing so there's plenty to help keep us in the hunt.

"Barcelona is similar in many regards to Bahrain; it's hard on the tyres with some challenging fast stuff thrown in. It's not so obviously rear-limited as Bahrain, but is nevertheless a circuit that challenges the tyres which has been a strength of the E21 thus far.

"That said, the start of the so called European season - where many teams unleash a raft of their latest upgrades - could shake up the order somewhat."

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