Pastor Maldonado is wary over rumours linking Lotus to a Mercedes engine deal for 2015, with the Venezuelan insisting that a change in supplier would not simply magic away all of the teams problems.
Maldonado joined Lotus from Williams this season, but the 29-year-old is yet to score points since his move to the Enstone-based team, with a best finish of 12th in Austria his only highlight.
The delays to the launch of the radically designed E22 car, with its distinctive twin-tusk nose, coupled to Renault’s power unit problems, has meant Lotus has struggled for performance in the early part of the year, with only eighth points on the board going into the British Grand Prix weekend.
Speaking to reporters at Silverstone, Maldonado admitted that he was unaware of any deal, but suggested his team take a cautious approach if it is to change engine supplier in the future, with no guarantee of success.
“As a driver it is a big compromise to say lets go for this engine, because behind the engine there is a huge work in terms of design for the car, so I’m not 100% sure about the move,” said Maldonado.
“If it is just magic and you can get the engine and go and win races I say lets go for it, but it is not that simple. You need to take care over the design of the car, it’s not easy.
“Renault has always been very successful in the past, so hopefully they can improve next year, or even from here to get closer and closer, at least to the Ferrari level in terms of engine.
“They have a good factory, they have good people, they are having a terrible season but at some point they will be competitive again.”
The Venezuelan revealed that while he expected Renault to have some issues ahead of the season, he never expected the French firm to struggle to the extent it has done in 2014.
‘We knew that we were going to have a big transition like that, in terms of technology, and to have some problems, but we didn’t expect to have this much,” he said. “At the moment in my opinion is just too much.”
Despite those struggles, Maldonado remains confident that Renault can reverse its current poor form, citing the example of the engine supplier’s struggles in the early years of the V8 era.
“It was the same when they changed from V10 to V8,” he explained. “At the very beginning they were suffering, but then they four championships in a row.
“We have be working very hard together with Renault to try and solve all of them. The engine is quite fragile still, but fingers crossed from now until the end of the season we can keep improving.
“Hopefully they can solve all of the problems.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic