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No regrets for Maldonado

NEWS STORY
13/03/2014

Pastor Maldonado holds no regrets over his decision to leave Williams in favour of Lotus. The Venezuelan began publically falling out with the team towards the end of last season, at one stage accusing it of sabotaging his car. He later retracted his comment but not before it further damaged an already delicate relationship.

After winning the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, Williams first victory in almost a decade, the team endured its worst season on record in 2013 with Maldonado out-scored by rookie teammate Valtteri Bottas. Frustrated, the 29-year-old signed for Lotus, taking his lucrative PDVSA sponsorship package with him.

But since then Williams has shown itself to be one of the front runners under the revised regulations for this season, a point not lost on Maldonado who has endured a pre-season punctuated by a lack of reliability from his Renault engine.

"For sure the car is not bad but they have good help from the engine," he said, a somewhat backhanded compliment to his former team. "From the aerodynamic point of view it's easier (this year). I think the car is very similar to what we had last year - the engine is making the difference at the moment."

Maldonado’s new car, the Lotus E22, is regarded by many as having a strong base let down by an underperforming engine. During testing the team struggled, with both Maldonado and teammate Romain Grosjean experiencing a disrupted programme which prevented long runs and left both drivers frustrated.

"Pre-season was quite tough," Maldonado confessed. "We didn't manage to have very long runs but we'll see. Hopefully Renault has better understood the issues they had.
"It's quite complex. We need some time to sort all of the problems.

"Renault is very professional," he added. "They are the champion engines; they have a lot of experience; they have a lot of good guys. I hope to have their solution quite soon and not only on the reliability but also on power."

Check out our Thursday gallery, here.

Mat Coch

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