Positive, enjoyable and good are just some of the adjectives Lotus used to describe Friday's running in Austria after both cars slotted into the top ten.
Pastor Maldonado posted a 1:09.914 to finish the day fourth quickest while his team-mate Romain Grosjean was three-tenths further off the pace in seventh.
It was a great showing from the team as the E23 once again displayed pace on an engine-dominated circuit.
Maldonado said: "I had a positive day and it's enjoyable to drive the E23 around this circuit.
"The day was pretty straight-forward actually. We had no dramas so we were able to work through our programme and make good progress.
"I think there is still some potential for more pace from the car and then we should go well tomorrow and in the race. I'm looking forward to it."
As for Grosjean, who sat out first practice for test driver Jolyon Palmer, he feels there are still gains to be made before Saturday's qualifying.
"The car felt good, but we've still got some work to do ahead of the race and qualifying," he said.
"The balance wasn't quite where I wanted for my fastest run on the supersoft so we've got some progress to make for qualifying.
"Pastor went well in the same conditions, so we can see there's pace to be found. For the race we've got to work on some of the set-up but there is good potential for the weekend ahead."