1 August 2015
Maldonado laments lack of Lotus upgrades
Aware that Lotus' closest rivals continue to develop, Pastor Maldonado is keen to see the Enstone team bring a major upgrade for its E23 in the second half of 2015...
Pastor Maldonado is hopeful that the Lotus F1 team will be able to bring a significant upgrade to its E23 before the end of the 2015 season, after getting by with little tweaks in the opening ten rounds.
The Venezuelan revealed in Budapest that the biggest modification to the car to date had been the high downforce wing introduced as a necessity for Monaco, with very little else being brought despite the season now being beyond its halfway point.
“The rear wing was just for Monaco – it was a high downforce one which is the same as we were using [in Hungary],” Maldonado explained, “At this kind of track it is working, but maybe not in Barcelona.
“There have been no more upgrades since the beginning of the season – not big upgrades but, for sure, we have been doing a few things around the car but not big upgrades.”
Maldonado's early season results were disappointing thanks to a combination of Lotus frailty, misfortune and some typically mercurial performances on his behalf, with five DNFs only interrupted by a lowly 15th in Bahrain. Things only started to look up with back-to-back sevenths in Canada and Austria, before going horribly wrong once again with a double first lap exit for the entire Lotus team at Silverstone.
Hungary was little better as a wildly inconsistent qualifying was followed by a race that contained not one, but three, penalties that almost certainly cost the Venezuelan a points finish, leaving him 14th in the standings, four places and nine points shy of team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Both drivers have seen their direct rivals – Toro Rosso and Force India – take steps to improve their cars, the latter by introducing a B-spec model of its VJM08, and Maldonado is keen to see Lotus follow suit, although the team's much-publicised financial concerns may impact that wish. Already issued with a winding-up petition, Lotus was prevented from joining FP1 until a third of the way through the session in Hungary after a late payment to tyre supplier Pirelli saw Maldonado sitting in team hospitality while his rivals were getting their first laps in…
“Hopefully, we can have [a big upgrade after the summer break],” he suggested, “It is not clear yet, but we must be very close to having a big one soon. It is the moment to do that, and it should be a good one, so hopefully we can get it soon.”
Citing a good baseline for the E23, the Venezuelan remains hopeful of hauling Lotus – which sits just five points adrift of Force India - into the top five of the constructors' table.
“Everyone else has made steps but, if you look at our performance, even without any upgrades we always continue to be there, which is very positive,” he concluded.
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