Pastor Maldonado is looking for a clean weekend at Spa-Francorchamps as he continues to target his first points of a frustrating 2014 F1 campaign.
With Lotus struggling to make its E22 both reliable and competitive over the opening eleven rounds of the season, Maldonado finds himself ranked alongside Marussia's Max Chilton and the Caterham and Sauber pairings in the standings, with a best result of twelfth in both the Austrian and German races.
The Venezuelan tried using the sport's four-week summer break to relax, but still found himself contemplating the forthcoming Belgian Grand Prix as he attempts to turn his fortunes around.
“The F1 season is intense with travelling, and time seems to go so fast, [so] it is important to have this break and to refresh ourselves as a team,” he confirmed, “It is a much needed break but, at the same time, my brain is always thinking about the team and the car, so part of me is always focusing on the second half of the season, starting at Spa.
“I think that being away from the track for a short time is healthy and actually helps get some perspective of where we are and hope things can improve for us going forwards. It has been a very hard season and one in which there have been lots of issues. But now that is behind us and we have to believe that we can get some points on the board and complete the season strongly. That way it will give some good momentum to start afresh in 2015 with a whole new exciting package.”
As has been the case at several venues this season, Maldonado can take good memories of the Ardennes back to Spa – with wins in World Series by Renault and GP2 under his belt – and he is determined to leave Belgium with some points to his name.
“It would be difficult to give a clear aim other than improvement and fighting for points every
race,” he said, “We have seen flashes of big promise from the E22. If everything is running right and the team continues to push then we can get more points for sure.
“As a team we will stay together with a clear mission to achieve the maximum. That way we will come back stronger and become a force in 2015. But first we are hungrier than ever to get back in to the mix for points again in 2014. We hope [the car] is good [in Belgium]. If we can have a clean weekend technically, without any power unit or other issues, then we will be in a good position to challenge for points. Spa always throws up some variables with the weather being the obvious one.
“It would be nice to be higher up than the last few races. If we can achieve this and we have a good package then I believe we can come away with something very positive from Belgium.”