26 October 2014
F1: Maldonado insists 2014 still Lotus priority
Pastor Maldonado only has one eye on next season as he continues to chase his first F1 points of the 2014 season in Austin.
Pastor Maldonado claims that the Lotus team remains focused on squeezing some points out of the current season, even though the 16 races to date continue to leave him scoreless.
While team-mate Romain Grosjean managed to extract eight points from a brace of fourth-place finishes earlier in the campaign, Maldonado has seldom come close to troubling the top ten as the E22 chassis failed to match its rivals. With developments still bring brought to the car late in the season – the result of rules stability continuing into 2015 – the Venezuelan believes that he can still break his duck, even if better things are more likely to come next year.
“Nineteen races seem to fly by, even when you're not having the season performance you want,” he admitted, “There have been so many changes for this year and, though the year has gone quickly, it still seems like Albert Park was such a long time ago!
“We have three races left to try to get some more points on the board. We know that won't be easy with the strength of the competition, but it's something we still try for. The final three races of 2014 are all great events so we really want to finish as strongly as we can.
“We still have three races left in 2014, so that is our priority, but it's no secret that we are all looking to 2015 with a lot of excitement. It will be my second season with Lotus F1 Team and we have worked well together in 2014. There will be a lot of changes to the car and the team is very positive about the potential of next year's chassis.”
The countdown to 2015 begins next weekend in Austin, one of the races just about everybody in the paddock looks forward too. For Maldonado and Lotus, meanwhile, it's another chance to chase that elusive result.
“Obviously, we want to perform better than we did in Sochi,” he insisted, “That was a tough weekend, for sure, but we are used to tough weekends in 2014!
“We think the Austin layout should suit our car a bit better, so that's a positive, but hopefully we won't have any more technical issues. In Russia, we lost too much time because of issues which stopped us running over the course of the weekend - and that was especially bad for us when it was a new track. You don't want to lose practice time at any track, but it really hurts at a new one. And no-one ever wants technical issues during qualifying.
“Austin is a good track, it's a challenging layout which is good to drive and it's an enjoyable event. I know we'll have good support from the fans so we'll be pushing for a good result.”
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