30 August 2015
F1 Italian Grand Prix: Maldonado knows possibilities ahead of Monza
Under pressure to start producing results, Pastor Maldonado is keen to follow in his team-mate's wheeltracks at the Italian Grand Prix.
Pastor Maldonado admits that he hopes he can emulate team-mate Romain Grosjean's strong Belgian Grand Prix performance when F1 heads to one of his favourite circuits next weekend.
Although Maldonado, like many of his rivals, reveres Spa-Francorchamps, he always looks forward to the annual pilgrimage to Monza, where he admits speed is the key requirement.
“The track is all about how fast you can go on the start/finish straight and then also on the back straight too,” he explained, “We are reaching the highest speeds of the season on these stretches.
“One of the critical points is the Parabolica corner. You have to get this right at the end of your lap to ensure a good time and, if you get it wrong, it also compromises you for the next lap. It's difficult to do this as the car is set up for low downforce on the straights, so it's more difficult to drive on the corners – especially a long corner like Parabolica.
“I am really looking forward to Monza this year, because we've shown our car to be pretty good through the speed traps. Coming off the back of our performance in Spa, it's going to be really interesting to see how we go - but I have a good feeling.”
Having begun his European racing career in Italy and won races at Monza, the parkland circuit holds good memories for Maldonado, but the Venezuelan has extra reason for hoping for a good result next weekend after posting his seventh DNF in eleven races after an off at Eau Rouge damaged his clutch at Spa.
“Of course, it's frustrating not to finish any grand prix, but it was particularly so in Belgium as we really had potential to go well,” he reflected, “Romain did a great job to finish on the podium and I started my race ahead of him on the grid.
“We've gone through the data and we think we know what we need to do to avoid a similar situation again. Spa's a pretty unique place so it's unlikely we'll see the same set of circumstances again."
With Renault's mooted return to Enstone a potential threat to Maldonado's future - as the regie's relationship with Total would not sit well with the Venezuelan's PDVSA backing - the former GP2 champion is in need of strong showings as the 2015 season heads into its final third.
“It was good to watch the team get a good result, but it would have been better to have been part of a strong result for both cars on track," he admitted, "We know what is possible and our car should go well in Monza. I would love to score a very strong result in Italy as I have so many fans there.”
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