Date: 5th March 2015 at 8:47am
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The Lotus team appear to be heading into the new 2015 Formula One World Championship on a high.

Twelve months ago the Lotus team headed into the new season with the E22 a car that was late in development and struggled throughout the entire season.

Drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado complained of its unpredictable nature, whilst the Renault engine provided little power to contend with the teams powered by Mercedes and Ferrari.

But the new E23 appears to be a big improvement. It not only has the benefit of running the Mercedes engine after the team ditched Renault, but the car itself is also a vast improvement.

?The power unit?s a good step forward for us and on the chassis side; the chassis?s a good step forward, We?ve got a more consistent car, the drivers can get more out of it more easily, it?s much easier to drive on the limit and much more predictable. So we?ve got good steps in both areas.? Lotus technical director Nick Chester told Sky Sports.

‘[The Mercedes power-unit] is obviously a very performing power unit as you can see from last year. The installation?s nice so that gives us some benefits and it?s extremely reliable: we?ve only run one power unit all through testing.?

?We struggled a lot with [brake-by-wire] at the start of the year and it got easier through the year. We developed the system, we developed its response and as the response got better it got better for the drivers.

So where do Lotus see themselves in the 2015 Formula One World Championship shake up?

After finishing eighth in last seasons F1 Constructors World Championship the team will be aiming to improve upon that season.

But there is also an inter-team rivalry regarding the teams powered by Mercedes and Lotus would like to overhaul those sides which include Force India and Williams.

?That?s the target, although they are a bit ahead of us at the moment, We got some more developments coming at race two and race three that?ll hopefully help close that gap. But obviously they?ve had another year with the power unit.?