MOTORSPORT: Maldonado aims to make his mark

Lotus's new driver Pastor Maldonado says he has a point to prove ahead of this weekend’s opening Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia.

After three seasons in Formula 1, the former Williams driver is determined to make his mark with the Enstone-based team.

“It’s great to start the season with Lotus F1 Team,” he said.

“For me, it’s something very special, and it’s part of the big transition of progressing.

“After three years in one team, I’m very happy to part of this fantastic team.”

Maldonado said competing in 58 Grands Prix stood him in good stead for the season ahead.

“I’ve been learning a lot, especially in the first two years.

“I don’t count last year as it was so difficult, but even in the difficult times you can learn a lot and I’ve used all that as an experience and I feel ready to get back to the top.

“I was quite good in my last team, and maybe here I will get extra power to be more consistent and I think together we can make a very strong team.”

Maldonado said he was relishing teaming up with fellow Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.

“I know Romain from some years ago, he’s a good guy,” he added.

“He’s a great driver and we’ve competed in the lower categories together.

“We’ve both always been at the top so I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“I think we are both real fighters on track, so I hope we can both do our best for the team.”

The Venezuelan feels the new regulation changes being introduced will have a massive bearing on the championship.

“The difference we see from last year to 2014 is huge, and it will have a huge influence in terms of racing, and racing style.

“I think the drivers, together with the team, must work a lot to adapt to this new style of racing. We’ve been working in the simulator for a while and I feel optimistic. Let’s go for it!”

Maldonado says the team have to hit the ground running.

“It will be quite hard, for all the teams and all the drivers, with the new regulations, but we’re really looking forward to fight for the best, and to fight for the Championship.”

Grosjean said: “New season, new car, news rules – everything is pretty new and our challenge is pretty big. It’s very exciting though.

“We don’t know exactly what’s going on and where people are.

“It’s the same every year when we start the season, but it’s particularly the case right now with all the changes and new rules.

“The changing of engines, the changing of aerodynamics, more electrical help in the car, so yes some tough work for the engineers and drivers to understand and get on top of everything as quick as we can and hopefully faster than the others.”

He added: “I think continuity will be important this year with all the rule changes.

“I like the team and I think we do a very good job together so I’m happy to keep going, and I’m happy that we’re together for this challenge.

“We have a common aim and we want to win races and win Championships.

“I am ready to lead the way with this challenge.”

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