Pastor Maldonado reckons that this weekend's US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas presents another opportunity to pad his 2015 F1 points tally, after finishing a strong seventh in Russia last time out.

The Venezuelan has twice finished ninth in Austin and heads west this time looking to make a late push for a top ten overall finish with four rounds remaining in the season. With Lotus looking strong in Sochi, especially with team-mate Romain Grosjean qualifying and racing in the top ten before his accident, Maldonado is optimistic that more points could be possible this weekend.

"I think Austin offers us a good opportunity," he confirmed, "The circuit shouldn't pose any particular problems as long as we can get the tyres working as we want. The E23 is a car that generally works well, so we have a good baseline to start with - at this point of the year, we're pretty on top of things like set-up and getting the most out of the car, so it's a case of getting the laps and simulations done in practice and qualifying.

"[Sochi] was a solid race for us and the car felt good. We weren't able to get the maximum from the supersoft tyres in qualifying and, also, in the race they didn't reward us with all we wanted, but we were able to push quite well, especially at the end of the race.

"Everything went relatively well for us last year in Austin, especially when you compare the performance to the season we'd been having, and there's no reason to say we can't have a great weekend this year. At every race, we're looking to maximise the package we have - we always look to be as fast as possible in qualifying and finish the race as strongly as possible. I like the Circuit of the Americas, the E23 is a good racing car and I'm confident we'll do the best job we can. Certainly, this weekend, I'm looking to steal lots of points!"

As well as anticipating a strong showing, Maldonado is clearly looking forward to taking on the COTA circuit.

"Austin is a great track, a challenging layout which is refreshing to drive," he explained, "The first turn is quite something with its very steep climb, and the rest of the lap flows well, but the circuit can be a difficult one for tyres. There can be a variety with the weather and, in the past, we've seen it be quite cold at the start of the day, but the event is taking place earlier in the year this season so, hopefully, there's plenty of sun to burn off any morning fog!"



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