Q&A with Pastor Maldonado
"I think that Silverstone is an amazing track"
Two Seventh-place finishes in the last two races have buoyed Pastor Maldonado who is excited for what he views as a home race in Silverstone.
Points again; tell us about your Austrian Grand Prix...
It was a good weekend. In the race we made a poor start due to a small issue, but after that I was able to drive a good race. I stayed on the pace of the cars ahead for my first stint, even though I was on the harder tyres, then when I changed to the super softs I was able to push, even though we did a very long stint on those tyres. It was a satisfying race and I was very happy to take seventh position near the end.
How much of a boost does it give you to get two good finishes in from the past two races?
It’s good for me and it’s good for all of the team. It was frustrating for everyone to be pushing so hard with no reward until Canada, so to score in Canada and Austria has been great. Scoring is what we’re all here for so we’ll keep pushing for points at every race.
Where do your tyre management skills come from?
I think there are two factors. Firstly, you soon learn as a racing driver that you have to manage your tyres and if you use up all the performance early on you’ll suffer later. The other thing I think that helps me is listening to my engineers and doing what they tell me. They have far more data than me so are in a better position to make any decisions either before or during a race.
What did you think of that shimmy in the race?
I’ve seen it on TV now and it looked pretty good! It was a great battle but I’m glad I was able to finish ahead of Max Verstappen and take seventh place. We were both pushing hard, though it’s sometimes a little funny when you read the headlines afterwards and then compare it to what you said. I had no real issue with Max’s driving; he was maybe a little over the limit in his defence of position at times but we all do that as racing drivers. If the Stewards watching think the driving was fine then that’s fine by me.
What are your thoughts of the British Grand Prix?
I’ve won at Silverstone in the GP2 Series and I’ve always really liked the circuit. 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. I’m looking forward to racing just down the road from the Lotus F1 Team factory and seeing many familiar faces over the weekend.
What do you think of Silverstone as a circuit?
I think that Silverstone is an amazing track. It has a great history, it’s fast and the change to the most recent layout hasn’t really changed the nature of the track too much. It’s always a special place to visit and you know that you’re always there for the racing as it’s not on the doorstep of a big city. I have always enjoyed racing at Silverstone since my first visit back in 2007. I also have good memories of it as I have had some great races there, including winning in both 2009 and 2010 in the GP2 Series.
Which parts of the circuit do you like in particular?
My favourite corner is Becketts as it is really quick through there. I think the track will suit our car because it’s similar to Barcelona and it’s also very fun to drive with sections like Maggots and Becketts which really test you as a driver.
What about the feeling of racing somewhere which so many teams call home?
Certainly, it’s home for many, many people who work in the paddock and you do get a special feeling there. The support you get from the fans is amazing; let’s hope the weather is too!