Pastor Maldonado was disappointed to see the opening free practice session of his weekend at Spa-Francorchamps end in the barriers after losing the rear of his Lotus at the right-hander at the exit of Les Combes.
The Venezuelan driver heavily damaged his car as a result, and saw the session red flagged while his car was recovered and the barrier repaired, with Maldonado feeling he was unlucky to crash, feeling he almost saved the car.
“Today wasn’t the start to the Grand Prix weekend that we wanted,” reflected Maldonado. “I lost the rear end in FP1 and unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep the car off the barriers.
“I just lost the car in the middle of the corner and when I took the kerb it was very slippery and I completely left the track. I nearly saved the car, but it’s an area which is very, very narrow – not enough space – and I touched the barrier.
“It was very unlucky because I nearly saved the car. But anyway, it happened.
“This track is always very difficult when you have a moment or whatever, especially at that point where the second sector is quite narrow.
“But this can happen. Now we can’t change that. We need to look forward.”
Maldonado praised his mechanics for fixing his car in time to be able to get some running in the second practice session of the day, but rued the twin interruptions of the red flags for the incidents involving Nico Rosberg and Marcus Ericsson.
“My crew did a great job to get everything back together for FP2, but then there were a couple of red flags to interrupt that session too,” said Maldonado.
“I think we can have a good weekend from now, there’s good potential in the car and we know what we need for a strong result.”