Pastor Maldonado is feeling confident ahead of tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix, despite the Venezuelan’s poor qualifying result which will see him start the 60-lap race from way back in 18th position. During his first run in Q1 he met heavy traffic, which ultimately ruined his chances of progressing further in the session.
With Williams unquestionably eager to add to their meager tally of points in the Constructors’ Championship, the Grove-based outfit would have ideally preferred to have seen both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas progress into at least Q2 during qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix. As it transpired only the Finnish rookie managed to achieve such a result, as Pastor Maldonado endured yet another disappointing result behind the wheel of his Renault-powered Williams FW35.
After a shortened morning practice session due to the smog lingering around the Buddh International Circuit, the Grove-based outfit was aware that attaining the ideal tyre temperature during qualifying would be extremely tight. During Pastor Maldonado’s first run on the soft tyre compound, the Venezuelan driver was hindered by traffic as he negotiated the flowing circuit. This in turn prevented him from excelling, and also saw his tyres begin to show signs of wear by the time he completed his second timed lap. Whereas Valtteri Bottas successfully managed to find a clear track during his timed laps and progress through to Q2, Pastor Maldonado was frustratingly joined by Romain Grosjean and the two Marussias and Caterhams in elimination from proceedings.
However, the 28-year-old Maracay-born Venezuelan feels optimistic ahead of the 60-lap race, despite enduring a rather uncompetitive qualifying performance. With the FW35 proving to be more competitive on long runs during the second practice session on the Friday, Maldonado firmly believes he can move forward during the race. Whether he can claw his way up through the field and secure more points for Williams remains to be seen, however both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas will surely endure a frenetic 60-lap race stuck within the sport’s highly competitive midfield.
“I was faced with traffic twice on my first run in Q1 on the soft tyres, once in the first corner and also again in Turn 10, which compromised my qualifying as you only really have one chance to get a clean lap on the soft tyres because the degradation is so high.” Explained Pastor Maldonado, “I am usually able to recover some positions in the race and the car is more competitive on long runs so I’m confident we can move forward tomorrow.”
As the season nears it’s conclusion, Pastor Maldonado has been linked to a possible move away from Williams. Although the former race winner has remained coy on where he may end up for 2014, he will certainly be keen on ending the current season on a high if possible when the sport returns to America and Brazil later next month. Valtteri Bottas will also be eager to secure his maiden points finish in Formula 1, after a relatively competitive debut season for the Finn.
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