Lotus team principal Eric Boullier believes Ferrari and Mercedes are starting to look over their shoulder in the Constructors' Championship.
While Ferrari and Merc are locked in their own battle for second place in the standings, Lotus have quietly crept up behind them thanks to Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen picking up 73 points in the last three races.
With four races still to go, you can't rule out the Enstone squad in the race for third place in the standings.
"The pressure is on them, not on us," Boullier said. "Twenty-three points I think we are behind Mercedes and 33 to Ferrari. If we can keep going like this - it's a bit ambitious maybe - but if we can keep going like this we could close on the third place - pace is one thing but you need to deliver the points as well."
The E21 started the season well before going through a mid-season slump, but Grosjean and Raikkonen have managed to extract a lot more from the car in recent races.
"We could develop the car; definitely what we brought during the season delivered the performance we expected, more or less," Boullier said. It's true that it was a bit of a gamble but I'm very proud of what we could achieve with the wheelbase package - which is not only the wheelbase but also the aero around it and everything - and it's good to see the new process we put in place including the driver in the simulator looks like at least for this time it works.
"So it's good, and it's good to see that we could raise our game a little bit, improve the car in qualifying and keeping the characteristics of the car for the race."
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