Lewis Hamilton has been impressed by Lotus' form this season and is hoping McLaren's latest upgrades means he will be racing with them towards the front at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

14539 - Hamilton impressed by Lotus' recent pace

Both Lotuses finished on the podium at the last race in Bahrain, while Hamilton's chance to challenge them was scuppered by a couple of bad pit stops. The McLaren driver said his team had taken note of Lotus' pace this season.

"They've obviously done a fantastic job, they've been quick all year generally," Hamilton said. "They've just not had a race like the last race, but we knew that they would be quick. They've got a slightly different philosophy of how they generate downforce, which is interesting. Good on them, it's great to see them up there and I hope that we can be up there racing with them next time."

Hamilton is confident McLaren will make a step forward this weekend, but said there is no way of knowing until later in the weekend if it will be enough to win on Sunday.

"We clearly have quite a good car but we don't know how big a step other people have done, but we will have made a step hopefully this weekend. The temperatures are a little bit lower than they were at the last race and hopefully we'll be strong, but my guess is as good as yours at the moment. We'll have a better understanding tomorrow and on Saturday morning, but it's still going to be the case that the race is the hardest part. Qualifying is always tough, but the race and looking after the tyres to make them last - that's going to be the key I think."