Eric Boullier delighted with Lotus testing recovery

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier was happy to see the Hethel-backed outfit put their reliability issues with the E20 behind them, as pre-season testing came to an end in Barcelona.

The Norfolk marque lasted just seven laps of the second winter test in Spain due to a problem with the E20's engine mount - putting the ex-Renault team will behind their midfield rivals in terms of preparing for the new season.

But Lotus turned the situation around with a full – and productive – four days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in the final sessions that ended on Sunday, with the new season getting under way in Australia on March 18.

What is more, Kimi R�ikk�nen topped the time sheets to offer hope that Lotus might be able to improve of a 2011 campaign that fizzled out badly.

'After the disappointment of last time out, this test was crucial and I think we did a good job,' said Boullier. 'We've been able to confirm that the changes made to the car fixed our front suspension problems.

'We were confident that the redesign was well conceived and well executed, but we have demonstrated the integrity of the modified part.

'It is a tribute to the all team, which has been working amazingly hard over the last few days in order to fly the E20 on time to Barcelona.

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'Despite the rain and a few technical glitches, we managed to learn more about the new car. We now have a better understanding of it, and have a few positive setup directions that we can take further.

'Moreover, both drivers seem happy with the balance and tyre degradation. We are cautiously optimistic for the future and now looking forward to Melbourne.'

R�ikk�nen's French team-mate Romain Grosjean has also shown good pace in the E20, and the pair will be hopeful of making a positive impact for the iconic Norfolk marque this season.

The team's trackside operations director Alan Permane added: 'We've had a good, productive day to conclude our pre-season test programme.

'Despite having missed a test we are in good shape heading to Melbourne. We've completed two race distances and the E20 has proved reliable, easy to set-up and predictable in its handling with both drivers reporting they are happy.'

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