MOTORSPORT: Maldonado fired up for Silverstone exam

Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, seen leading Kamui Kobayashi, from the Leafield-based Caterham team during the Austrian Grand Prix, is hoping to get off the mark at Silverstone, having failed to score a point this season

Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, seen leading Kamui Kobayashi, from the Leafield-based Caterham team during the Austrian Grand Prix, is hoping to get off the mark at Silverstone, having failed to score a point this season

First published in Sport

Pastor Maldonado says he is relishing his first British Grand Prix at Silverstone with Lotus, as he looks to break his points duck this weekend.

The Venezuelan has had poor season with the Enstone-based team following his switch from Williams.

But he is hoping for a change of luck.

“I’ve always really liked the circuit,” said Maldonado.

“I’ve spent so much time in England that it’s like a second home to me, especially as I have family who live very close to the circuit in Oxfordshire.

“It’s a great event coming mid-season and it always provides an interesting race.

“It’s always a very special event for the teams based nearby and the support all drivers get there is amazing with some of the most knowledgeable fans in the world.

“This will be my first home Grand Prix for Lotus, so I’m looking forward to racing just down the road from the factory and seeing many familiar faces over the weekend.”

But it’s not the first time he has visited the Northamptonshire circuit.

“I have had some great races there, including winning in both 2009 and 2010 in the GP2 Series.

“My favourite corner is Becketts as it really tests you as a driver.”

Maldonado added: “We have to to maximise the package we have and make the very most of every opportunity.

“Hopefully, the high-speed corners will work better with our car and it would be great to be back to where we were in Barcelona which is quite a similar circuit to Silverstone. Obviously, at the Barcelona test teams were all running to different programmes, so I don’t think we’re suddenly going to be the fastest car, but I do expect to be further up the order than we have been at recent races.”

Maldonado’s teammate Romain Grosjean is hoping the gearbox problems that haunted him at the Austrian Grand Prix won’t reappear.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating,” he said.

“It was one of those things where an electronic part argued with a mechanical part and I ended up starting from the pit lane as a result.

“In a way that gives you an auto reset as anything you achieve in the race is a benefit so I got my head down and did the best I could, even if there were other gremlins trying to attack me in the car too.

“I won at Silverstone in the GP2 Series in 2011, so I have to say I quite like it.

“I scored points there in my F1 debut, but then last year my race wasn’t so good there. This means I must be due a good result.”

He added: “It’s always nice to see not only the race team, but also some of the many people from the factory come to see us out in action.

“It’s thanks to all their hard work that we’re out on track and they are doing an amazing job.”

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