Having spent two days in the Lotus E23 at Barcelona, and quickest on both, Pastor Maldonado says the car is a "good step forward" on last year's.
Maldonado returned to the cockpit of the E23 for the third of four days at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Putting in qualifying style runs in the afternoon, the Venezuelan driver posted a best time of 1:24.348 on the super-soft Pirelli rubber.
That ensured him his second P1 of the week by 0.391s over Max Verstappen.
However, it's not just the car's pace that has Maldonado smiling.
"The most impressive thing of the car is the drivability," he told ESPN.
"I think the team has done an excellent job in terms of installation and the new parts. All seems to be working quite well, which is encouraging. From the driving point of view, it's looking quite good.
"There's very good driveability, very good power, very good to work with the [Mercedes] engineers as well. I think it's a good step forward.
"We can learn more from the car, I think there is a lot to do. It's a completely new car so it's difficult to get to the bottom of everything we need to do.
"But it's looking quick, which is very important, and it's nice to drive and hopefully we can get better and better."