Interview with Lotus F1's Pastor Maldonado

Interview with Lotus F1's Pastor Maldonado

2 May 2014 – Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado looks ahead to the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round in the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Pastor, what did you 'takeaway' from China?
We had a good start and first lap, but then because of the lack of top-end speed we were struggling to overtake and lost a lot of time behind slower cars, which compromised our final result. Lap by lap our pace was improving, but it was not enough to pass more people. I think we need to work very hard to increase the top speed so that we can attack more during the race. Otherwise the car is not too bad and it can only improve from here. We achieved a good step forward for the Chinese race. Now we have time to review the data and try to do the same again in Spain, hopefully giving us a good chance to fight for points.

Tell us about the Circuit de Catalunya?
The circuit has certainly been very good for me in the past, with the win in 2012 being the highlight. A top ten in qualifying will be our first focus and then it'll be a very tough race in terms of tyre management, with a lot of pit stops and strategy. Last year most did four stops but Lotus F1 Team were able to make three stops to finish second. Overall Catalunya is tough for the cars, drivers and teams because everyone knows the track so well and you have to fight for every thousandth of a second. There are obviously races that are much closer to Venezuela in a geographic sense, but Barcelona is special for me because there is a huge community of Venezuelans close by and of course my mother tongue is Spanish. So I hope to see a lot of flags around the track and some great support as usual. It's always good to race in front of your fans and I am determined to continue my good record there.

What do you remember about the win in 2012?
It was a great day in my career, a strong race and victory over Fernando Alonso in his home event. We really deserved it because we did it on merit and under big pressure from the Ferrari all race. People forget that we were outside the top ten on Friday and then everything came together. We qualified second - pole after Lewis Hamilton was disqualified - and I knew there was a chance to win the race. I just felt so calm and ready to win. That weekend, after being 17th in first practice, shows why you must never give up in Formula 1. It also gave me more confidence because my first year in F1 had been difficult, but as soon as the car was competitive I was up there, fighting with the top drivers. My mentality changed and this now drives me forward when times are tough.

What would be a realistic target for Barcelona this season?
I'm expecting to be more competitive. It will be very important to start scoring some points, but if everything goes well and we get some luck too then a top five is possible. It is going to be difficult - there are the two Mercedes and two Red Bulls and then others who have shown good pace in recent races like Force India - but if we get 100% from the car we can fight all of the other teams and come away with something good to build on.

What are you expecting from the technical updates?
Clearly we expect the updates to be positive, but it's difficult to say how big the relative improvement will be because everybody will bring updates and nothing stands still in Formula 1. The bottom line is that we must keep improving and pushing. We won't get to the end of this season and look back to think we could have done more. Everyone is fighting 100% to get back to the front of the grid. When we get there it will be even sweeter.

How important is it to get points as soon as possible?
It is vital because this team and the drivers are used to scoring lots of them. But more importantly it will act as a trigger for more confidence throughout the team and it will mean we can act on that and feed off it. The races after Barcelona are Monaco and Montreal where many variables usually happen. We have to be in the right place to take advantage of these and to enable a good platform for the summer.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 28 May 2016

  2. 18:52

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco

    F1
  3. Verstappen to start Monaco GP from pits 18:50

    Verstappen to start Monaco GP from pits

    Red Bull has confirmed that Max Verstappen will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane, after he crashed out of…

    F1
  4. Kvyat cleared over failed floor test 18:45

    Kvyat cleared over failed floor test

    Stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix have cleared Daniil Kvyat to start from eighth place on the grid, after Toro Rosso cited floor…

    F1
  5. Kvyat's car fails post-qualifying checks 17:35

    Kvyat's car fails post-qualifying checks

    Toro Rosso has been summoned to the stewards after Daniil Kvyat's STR11 failed post-qualifying checks at the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  6. Grosjean rues out-lap traffic after Q2 exit 17:17

    Grosjean rues out-lap traffic after Q2 exit

    Romain Grosjean says getting stuck behind the Mercedes drivers on his warm-up lap during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  7. Hülkenberg: Fifth place a 'nice surprise' 17:11

    Hülkenberg: Fifth place a 'nice surprise'

    Nico Hülkenberg says qualifying fifth on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix was a "nice surprise" as he looks to end a…

    F1
  8. Alonso struggling despite Q3 appearance 15:58

    Alonso struggling despite Q3 appearance

    Fernando Alonso says he is struggling with the handling of McLaren's Honda-powered MP4-31 despite his Q3 appearance in…

    F1
  9. Matsushita cruises to victory in Monaco 15:56

    Matsushita cruises to victory in Monaco

    Nobuharu Matsushita kick-started his and defending champion ART Grand Prix's season as he cruised to victory during the GP2…

    GP2
  10. Vettel: We should have done a better job 15:46

    Vettel: We should have done a better job

    Sebastian Vettel has conceded that he and Ferrari should have done "a better job" during qualifying for the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  11. Horner hails 'dynamite' Ricciardo lap 15:24

    Horner hails 'dynamite' Ricciardo lap

    Christian Horner heaped praise on Daniel Ricciardo for delivering a "dynamite" lap to secure pole position for the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  12. Hamilton: Pole was 'there for the taking' 15:10

    Hamilton: Pole was 'there for the taking'

    Lewis Hamilton reckons pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix was "there for the taking" before he encountered technical…

    F1
  13. Ricciardo: Pole on my mind all weekend 14:58

    Ricciardo: Pole on my mind all weekend

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo says that securing pole position was at the forefront of his mind as he entered the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  14. 14:20

    Monaco Grand Prix: Full Qualifying results

    F1
  15. Ricciardo claims sensational Monaco pole 14:16

    Ricciardo claims sensational Monaco pole

    Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden pole position with a stunning qualifying performance in Monaco, ahead of Mercedes' Nico…

    F1
  16. Verstappen hopes for rain after Q1 exit 13:41

    Verstappen hopes for rain after Q1 exit

    Max Verstappen says he is hoping for wet weather to affect Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix after he crashed out of qualifying during…

    F1
  17. 12:48

    Follow qualifying for the Monaco GP!

    F1
  18. Räikkönen to take five-place grid penalty 12:39

    Räikkönen to take five-place grid penalty

    Kimi Räikkönen will take a five-place grid penalty for the Monaco Grand Prix after a gearbox change. Räikkönen finished…

    F1
  19. F1 set to introduce 'halo' over 'aeroscreen' 11:35

    F1 set to introduce 'halo' over 'aeroscreen'

    Formula 1 has reportedly decided to introduce the 'halo' cockpit protection system over the alternate 'aeroscreen' for 2017…

    F1
  20. 11:08

    Monaco Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  21. Vettel tops final Monaco GP practice 11:05

    Vettel tops final Monaco GP practice

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets during Saturday morning's ultra-close final free practice session for the…

    F1
  22. Renault spends three tokens on upgrade 10:34

    Renault spends three tokens on upgrade

    Renault is the only engine manufacturer to have spent development tokens for the Monaco Grand Prix. Renault used three tokens…

    F1
  23. Video: Pirelli outlines wider 2017 tyres 10:03

    Video: Pirelli outlines wider 2017 tyres

    Formula 1 will undergo significant technical changes for 2017, with Pirelli's tyres playing a key role.

    F1
  24. Pirelli offers first look at wider tyres 10:01

    Pirelli offers first look at wider tyres

    Pirelli has offered a first glimpse of what its Formula 1 tyres could look like from 2017 after presenting the wider rubber on a…

    F1
  25. 09:52

    Follow final practice for the Monaco GP!

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: McLaren's 50 years in F1 05:27

    Video of the Day: McLaren's 50 years in F1

    McLaren celebrates its 50 years in F1 with a special film, presented by team partner Richard Mille.

    F1
  27. Friday 27 May 2016

  28. Giovinazzi penalised, Matsushita gets pole 17:22

    Giovinazzi penalised, Matsushita gets pole

    Nobuharu Matsushita will start GP2's Sprint Race from pole position on Saturday following a penalty for Prema's Antonio…

    GP2
  29. 16:34

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  30. Video: Ferrari's Monaco technical guide 15:32

    Video: Ferrari's Monaco technical guide

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison talks about the demands of the Monte-Carlo street circuit.

    F1
  31. Kvyat feeling 'better and better' in STR11 13:06

    Kvyat feeling 'better and better' in STR11

    Daniil Kvyat says that his feeling at the wheel of Toro Rosso's STR11 is getting "better and better" on a lap-by-lap basis as he…

    F1
  32. Markelov takes maiden win in GP2 thriller 11:46

    Markelov takes maiden win in GP2 thriller

    Artem Markelov surged from 15th on the grid and profited from a litany of Virtual Safety Car (VSC) periods to provisionally…

    GP2
  33. Haryanto misses long runs due to crash 11:22

    Haryanto misses long runs due to crash

    Manor driver Rio Haryanto was left to rue the lack of any meaningful long runs during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  34. Video: Sauber drivers on Monaco GP 10:03

    Video: Sauber drivers on Monaco GP

    Sauber drivers Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson talk about the challenges of the Monaco Grand Prix.

    F1
  35. Sauber expects to resolve issues 'shortly' 09:24

    Sauber expects to resolve issues 'shortly'

    Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has expressed confidence that Sauber will resolve its financial issues in the near future…

    F1
  36. Baz confirmed to miss Catalan Grand Prix 08:12

    Baz confirmed to miss Catalan Grand Prix

    Avintia rider Loris Baz will miss next weekend's MotoGP round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as a result of the injuries…

    MotoGP
  37. Pirelli pleased with full Ultra Soft debut 07:42

    Pirelli pleased with full Ultra Soft debut

    Pirelli hailed a positive start with its new Ultra Soft tyre compound as the purple-marked rubber made its race weekend debut on…

    F1
  38. Gasly to start from pits after penalty 07:28

    Gasly to start from pits after penalty

    GP2 Series leader Pierre Gasly must start today's Monaco Feature Race from the pit lane after failing to stop at the weighbridge…

    GP2
  39. Video of the Day: FI drawing challenge 05:12

    Video of the Day: FI drawing challenge

    Force India drivers Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg take part in a special Monaco drawing challenge.

    F1
  40. Thursday 26 May 2016

  41. 19:02

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday in Monaco

    F1
  42. Button 'lucky' in drain cover incident 18:53

    Button 'lucky' in drain cover incident

    Jenson Button says he felt "lucky" to escape unharmed after his car struck a drain cover during first practice for the Monaco…

    F1
  43. Rosberg expecting 'very close' battle 16:24

    Rosberg expecting 'very close' battle

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg is expecting a "very close" fight with Red Bull at the Monaco Grand Prix, given the times posted in…

    F1
more news