Romain Grosjean is confident Lotus has the potential to win races in 2012 and eventually championships, but has warned against expecting a title fight this year.

14369 - Grosjean eyes win before end of 2012

Grosjean took his first podium since his return to the sport at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, finishing third while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen challenged for the win. Team principal Eric Boullier has since said Grosjean has the potential to fight for championships, but the French driver believes success will have to come step by step.

"That's my dream, I hope one day I will be world champion," he told the Lotus website. "It has to come step by step tough. First points, then podiums and then wins that lead to world championships. So now we have the podium step and hopefully the next step will be there for the win and maybe more."

Grosjean is confident his first win can come this year

"Winter testing showed us that the car was very good," he added. "The first qualifying in Melbourne was quite amazing being third on the grid. Then I don' think we put everything together in the next races to get the result we deserved.

"But we knew we had a very good car, and the team is working very hard as well to bring improvements and updates to the car because that will be key to the season. We knew we had something in our hands that was pretty good and worked very well, so now we are trying to make it even better for the next races - Mugello and then Barcelona and Monaco - and if we put everything right then we may win before the end of the season."

Lotus is currently third in the championship, but Grosjean said the team is sticking to its original goal of finishing fourth in the constructors' this year rather than set the bar too high.

"This season will be very tight and this [the constructors' title] is not our goal," he said. "For sure you want to do the best, but don't burn steps as we say. We are aiming for fourth in the constructors' championship and we are third at the moment so for sure you want to try to keep the position. We are looking pretty good but we know there is still some work to do to get everything right and to be world champion.

"And why not in the future? That's our goal for sure and we like to be part of this experience, and we'd like to be world champion with this team, it would be nice. We are working hard to achieve that."