4 June 2014
Maldonado: Canada is a crucial moment for Lotus F1
Pastor Maldonado is keen to erase memories of a frustrating Monaco weekend by scoring his first F1 points for Lotus in Canada this weekend.
Pastor Maldonado is ready to put his short Monaco Grand Prix appearance behind him and turn his focus to Montreal, determined to score his first points for Lotus in Sunday's Canadian round.
Having already suffered in the build-up to one of his favourite races, Maldonado's Monaco afternoon was cruelly cut short before the lights went out as the E22's fuel pump failed on the dummy grid. Left to spectate, the Venezuelan watched team-mate Romain Grosjean repeat the eighth place he took in Barcelona, doubling the team's points tally, but refuses to become too frustrated.
“I was very disappointed because I was expecting to be in the points and the car felt strong performance-wise,” he reflected, “The chances [of success] in Monaco are always very high and I was ready to do a great race, but unfortunately it was not to be.
“We were not the only team to have technical problems at the last race, however we just need to work harder to try to solve all of the small issues and get better with each race. They are frustrating, absolutely, but we are getting stronger and stronger each time the car goes out on track.
“When you have a hard time it is vital to be completely focused on trying to solve the problems. I'm trying to do better from my side and also to help the engineers improve the car. This is a crucial moment for the team, approaching the middle of the season. We need to push very hard to recover what we lost at the beginning.
“We always knew it was going to be tough to start with, but the key is not to panic - we'll just keep our heads down and quietly work harder, do more and do better to catch up, and overtake the other teams. We're capable of it, there's no doubt about that and, while it's always frustrating not to be on the podium where we belong, this is part of the story. It's very easy to just give up, but I think it will make us stronger in the end. There's a cool quote I heard – 'there's no shortcut to any place worth going'. That's pretty true I think.”
Maldonado says he is targeting points in Canada, aware that the tricky Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Montreal's unpredictable weather could contribute towards a few surprises, and is confident that recent in-season testing has helped further pin-point the team's technical direction.
“I think it would be good to have a trouble-free weekend and finish the race strongly in the points,” he confirmed, “It could be a difficult weekend for the team, for sure. We are not expecting to be at the top, simply because of the type of track and how we understand our car and its performance strengths and weaknesses. It's not very aggressive on the tyres either, so we'll see how it is when we head out onto the track. Anything can happen and our guys are all working very hard to adapt the car to find more traction in the slow corners and squeeze out some more top speed.
“[The Barcelona test] was super good. To be honest, it was my first real test with the team and it was great to work through the full programme and see what the team is capable of in a normal situation. Everything ran well. I felt more confident with the car just because of the mileage and I think the team felt more confident. Monaco wasn't reflective of how much the team has progressed and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to really show how strong we're becoming.”
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