Pastor Maldonado has praised the harmony that his Lotus car has found with its Mercedes power unit on Friday night at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“It’s an easier engine, but for sure you need a bit of time. I think we are getting to the point that it’s looking good. It’s quite positive. We keep working very hard at we are doing at the moment. Two more days to go. Tomorrow Romain is in the car, so hopefully we can do quite well.”

The Venezuelan famously won the race at this circuit in 2012, and recorded the fastest lap on both Thursday and Saturday of last weekend’s test, however he remained modest when commenting on the performance of him and his team.

“We managed a lot of mileage and a race sim with used tyres that doesn’t seem very competitive, because it was just interesting for mileage and not for performance. It was a positive day, no problems at all, quite good.”

Pastor enters the pits after a long stint

“We are getting more used to working with the engine, a bit more experience. For sure, we need some more time to try and adapt all of the package to the engine, even from myself and from the driving point of view.”

He also praised the reliability of the power unit, and feels that the team are in a much stronger position than they were at the same point last year.

“It’s much better [than with Renault]. The reliability situation is completely different. From the performance point of view, we don’t know exactly against the other teams yet, but we have an idea. We’re not that bad, quite close to the people, maybe not Mercedes but the people behind Mercedes. Let’s see. Let’s get to the first race.”

Romain Grosjean resumes driving duties for Lotus tomorrow, while Maldonado will reprise his role on the final day of the test on Sunday.