sport

Grosjean has belief in Lotus

Romain Grosjean still has faith Lotus can produce a "monster" of a car despite starting the new Formula One season with a wretched dog.

Build issues and a litany of problems blighted pre-season, with the misery continuing throughout the opening grand prix in Australia.

The Enstone-based marque suffered further humiliation in qualifying around Melbourne's Albert Park as Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were 21st and 22nd respectively.

The duo move up a position for the start due to Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez incurring a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

But for a team that finished fourth in last season's constructors' championship, and that won this race a year ago, they have fallen far.

Grosjean, though, has no doubt they can only improve and said: "We had a lot of problems, and every time we fixed one another one would come along.

"It's a tough situation for everyone. The whole team is here to win, so when it doesn't go to plan it's not great.

"But the guys are working very hard and we just have to learn everything we can every time we are out in the car on the track.

"Yes it's frustrating, but I'm the one who has the easiest life as I'm not working all night on the car.

"It could still be made into a monster if we all pull together as a team. We've been through some tough times in the past so we'll work our way out of it."

Maldonado, who endured a miserable campaign with Williams last year, has seemingly jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The Venezuelan is doing his best to remain upbeat as he said: "We're working very hard and we need to be optimistic.

"We'll keep on working hard and try to work harder than the others.

"We just need to stay focused and keep on working and that's exactly what we're doing."