Despite failing to complete a lap time in the first segment qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix and being classified in 22nd position, Pastor Maldonado believes points are possible in tomorrow’s race.
The Venezuelan cites the unpredictable weather and the number of new sets of tyres as his reasons, saying “anything can happen” during the 70-lap event.
He was on his out lap in Q1 when he was forced to stop his car. Lotus has yet to discover what caused the problem, with trackside operations director Alan Permane saying it is to do with the power-unit’s energy store.
“There is not that much to say” Maldonado said after qualifying, We had a problem; still we don’t know what it was, just because we lost all the data, everything, so we don’t know.
“Today was a good chance, considering what happened in qualifying, Raikkonen and Lewis out, it was a great chance for myself to be in the top 10. I think we have been very close this morning, yesterday morning.
“The car’s pace seems to be a bit more competitive than last week. A bit of a negative day, I know it is tough for this weekend due to the characteristics of the track, difficult to overtake, difficult to manage a good strategy, but it is not impossible.
“It is a very long race; we have plenty of new tyres. This can help us to have better pace than the people around us, for sure. We do our best and here you never know, it can rain as well. It is a tough track, tough conditions.
“Anything can happen. We need to be very clever to get the 100% of the situation during the race. I think it is even possible to score some points.”
His team-mate Romain Grosjean could only manage 15th and was surprised to finish behind both Sauber drivers. He expected more from qualifying.
“Yesterday it wasn’t looking too bad, I had very little laps in FP2 but the option lap I lost seven tenths at turn six so we thought, that is close to P10,” said the Frenchman.
“This morning, 13th or 14th, the car wasn’t perfect so we made some small changes on it. We thought it would be good enough, but it was nowhere near what we wanted. I really struggled with rear locking, with all the work we did on the brake mapping to get some front locking, it was just the opposite way, the same as Barcelona but the other way around, very strange.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic