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F1 Japanese Grand Prix: We can finish season in good way – Maldonado

Ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Pastor Maldonado says the “potential” is there for Lotus to add to its meagre eight point 2014 F1 tally
Pastor Maldonado is confident Lotus can finish the 2014 F1 season in a “good way” and believes the team will come back stronger next year.

Maldonado has yet to score a single point this season and a trio of 12th places – in Austria, Germany and most recently in Singapore – is as good as it has got for the Venezuelan. It is a far cry from what he would have hoped for when he switched to the Enstone team at the end of last season, especially given it managed numerous podiums last year with both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

Despite that though, he remains positive and was pleased with how the troublesome E22 performed at the Marina Bay Street Circuit last weekend.

“The race was good. We had a decent race but again we were a little unlucky. At the end of the day to be fighting for points consistently and on merit is much better than some of the races we have had this year. The potential is there for us to add to our points' tally, so I am confident we can achieve this soon,” he said.

“I am [also] confident we can finish the season off in a good way which will give us some great momentum for the new season in 2015,” he added.

“Obviously it has been a difficult year but the important thing is that we are still united as a team and emerge stronger. From what I see and learn the 2015 car looks like being a very good package. There is a lot to look forward to for sure. The team at Enstone are more determined than ever to succeed and I can say 100% that I have the same outlook. We will have very high motivation for the winter in terms of preparation and then testing in the New Year.”

Looking to the Japanese Grand Prix next week, he said it is an event he always enjoys.

“It is always nice to know you are going to be challenged by a circuit. If everything gets hooked-up then Suzuka is a pleasure. I really hope we can have a good weekend because at Suzuka it makes it even more of a pleasure to get it right,” he continued. “I think that for a driver it is at least comparable with Spa, maybe even better on some corners. I just love racing at Suzuka and indeed in Japan as a whole.”

Quizzed on the highlights of driving a lap at Suzuka, he added: “There are so many. The start of the lap is incredible with the sweeps up the hill, right-left-right-left. It is really fast and you need a very good and nimble car to change direction quickly. They are really challenging corners where you need maximum concentration and bravery. The run-off is quite small, so it is really satisfying to get them right.

“When I first drove this track in 2011 it was a big deal for me because I knew that I could find a lot more time in the car. The corners are like this because you never get them 100% right the first time, you learn and learn which is what a great race track should be like I think. Then you have the Spoon Curve which is magnificent and 130R which is still challenging despite being flat-out now.

“All in all a great, great circuit and with some really steep gradients too.

"Almost a perfect track!”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.09.2014 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
21.09.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
20.09.2014 - Qualifying, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
18.09.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
19.09.2014- Free Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22

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