Pastor Maldonado is looking forward to returning to Italy for the next race weekend on the F1 calendar at the historic Monza circuit.
The track holds fond memories for the Venezuelan, but he believes it will be a difficult weekend for the Lotus F1 Team.
“I like Monza and I love Italy,” he said. “I actually used to live very close to the circuit when I was starting my career here in Europe.
“I have won races here so it holds some good memories and special feelings for sure. I have a lot of friends here and a lot of supporters who come and see me at the track, so it is very nice to catch up with them all.
“The track is totally unique and of course it is great to be racing where all the old heroes did too. Monza has changed only very slightly over the years and it still has the character of the old banking and the parkland trees as you drive through it and of course the fans create a great atmosphere which is a great soundtrack to the Grand Prix.”
When asked about his expectations for the race weekend, he replied: “For sure it is going to be a tough weekend again for us at Lotus F1 Team.
“Monza is all about power combined with a low downforce set-up so it is a big challenge. I think it will be interesting to see the new 2014-spec cars here because the track is so unique and there is a very particular way to get the best out of the cars.
“They will be difficult to drive I think for everyone but we will be doing our best to put the Spa weekend behind us and to get more positive energy going before we head off on the long haul races.”
He is hoping that the weather remains dry for the Italian Grand Prix. “Spa was very tough with the conditions and also Hungary too,” Maldonado said. “Monza is usually warm and dry which seems to suit the E22 more than the wet.
“We just need to have a trouble free weekend where we can further explore the low downforce bodywork, especially the front wing package that was introduced at Spa. The big challenge though will be the power issue. It is difficult to overcome any disadvantage on this front but everyone will be working to get as much speed as we possibly can.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic