Pastor Maldonado: “It was a big moment fighting with Max”

Pastor Maldonado believes he has entered a strong part of the season after securing a second consecutive points finish for only the second time in his career at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.

The Lotus F1 Team driver took seventh position, catching and passing the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen on the penultimate lap, despite having a lurid slide on the start/finish straight whilst making his move.

“It’s great to get another seventh position and the points that come with it,” insisted Maldonado. “It was a big moment fighting with Max. The super soft tyres were very hot so losing their grip and you lose a lot of downforce close to the car ahead, but everything was under control! I wanted to get the position and I think we deserved it.

“It seems like we’re coming into a good time of the season for us so we’ll all keep working hard to continue scoring points.”

Elaborating on his dicing with Verstappen, Maldonado believed that the seventeen-year-old ‘went too far’ whilst attempting to defend his position, with the Venezuelan feeling the Dutchman was not respecting the rules while trying to hold on to his position.

“He was a bit… let’s say not aggressive, but he wasn’t really respecting the rules,” said Maldonado to Autosport. “You must leave some space for the other car and he was not respecting that.

“But when I saw him doing this I said I need to be more careful but more aggressive. He was a bit on the limit a few times but it’s OK. If the stewards don’t say anything then I say OK, they allowed us to race and that’s great.”