Since returning to Formula One in 2010, Lotus have been the standout performer of the group of three new teams to arrive on the scene in March last year.
While the Virgin Racing team have lacked consistency and Hispania have been bordering on farcical, Lotus have calmly and professionally built and upgraded their car to a stage that it is now in its own class, between the midfield pack comprising Renault, Force India, Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso and the back-marker teams, Virgin and Hispania.
In 2012, the development of the car will continue and will allow the team to regularly challenge the established midfield in qualifying, finally allowing the team to break into the second session.
Jarno Trulli's time in Formula One is surely running out, but his input has been vital. Heikki Kovalainen is the clear focal point of the future of this team, and he will lead them into a more successful 2012 in which a maiden points finish is not off the cards, given the right mix of luck and circumstance.
Their job could be made that bit easier, considering Williams' current slide towards the rear of the field.