Maldonado admits Lotus switch was a risk
Pastor Maldonado has described his switch to Lotus as a risk, despite insisting that his current position is no worse than last season when Williams struggled towards the rear of the order.
Since leaving the Grove-based outfit, they have switched to Mercedes power and enjoyed a resurgence with a front-row lock-out at Austria and a subsequent podium courtesy of Valtteri Bottas.
However, Maldonado has insisted that he personally feels “fantastic” within the Enstone-based outfit, who have endured an incredibly frustrating season so far with numerous mechanical gremlins striking their cars.
Although Romain Grosjean has managed to secure a handful of points after finishing eighth on two occasions at Spain and Monaco, Maldonado has yet to open his points account due to a combination of recurring power unit issues and uncompetitiveness.
Whereas his old team have managed to turn around their fortunes and begin finishing consistently in the points, Lotus are still struggling to return to their heights of the previous two seasons.
Despite the contrasting fortunes of Lotus and Williams, Maldonado remains optimistic with the outfit who are continuing to hunt for vital improvements as the season progresses.
Although the controversial Venezuelan driver, who won a race in Spain in 2012, has described his switch to Lotus as an experience and a risk, he remains adamant that he made the correct decision to open a new chapter in his Formula One career by leaving Williams.
“To be honest, it’s experience,” he explained, in an interview with crash.net. “I learned a lot there [Williams] but I thought that it was the time to discover something new for my career. Some new experiences.
“When you change things you know that something can be wrong, something can be wrong or not; if you don’t take the risk you never know. I’ve taken the risk. I don’t think it’s worse than last year, I think it’s very similar to be honest, so it’s not worse.
“It’s very similar to last year up until now, even if we have a better car. It’s really bad in terms of reliability but every time the car is running without problems we are decently in the top ten or close to the top ten and then in the races we are used to being more competitive because we have some problems with the qualifying pace.”
During his relatively short, yet colourful career in Formula One, Pastor Maldonado has become renowned for his tendency to be involved in on-track skirmishes.
The 29-year-old has accepted that he has made several mistakes during his time in the sport but has stressed that he has not assumed a bad reputation.
Due to his relative success in the lower categories prior to his F1 career, Maldonado firmly believes he gained his support from Venezuela due to his speed and ability to takes victories.
“It’s not reputation, there are many things behind this,” he added. “It takes a long time to explain what is going on.
“I have been supported by a country, sometimes in Formula One you don’t like the people who are supported, but at the same time you have to look at the past races. I was winning everything, it was not by free that I got the support.
“I gained the support because I was quick, I won so many races, I am Venezuelan and I’m lucky.”
With the current season almost half complete, Maldonado and Lotus will undoubtedly be desperate for any form of improvements, despite the Venezuelan’s optimism.
With the squad’s qualifying pace in particular letting them down, with Maldonado failing to progress to Q2 on five out of the eight races held, there is no doubt that the Venezuelan ace will be feeling at least some guilt in his decision to leave Williams on the eve of their Mercedes resurgence.
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