Pastor Maldonado: “Our car should go well in Monza”

Pastor Maldonado felt it was galling to retire from the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, especially when he saw Lotus F1 Team team-mate Romain Grosjean secure the team’s first podium finish since 2013.

The Venezuelan started ahead of Grosjean in Belgium, but a heavy trip across the kerbs at Eau Rouge broke his clutch control system and saw him retire, but Maldonado is ready to put the result at Spa-Francorchamps behind him this weekend at Monza, feeling the Lotus E23 Hybrid should be competitive.

“Of course, it’s frustrating not to finish any Grand Prix, but it was particularly so in Belgium as we really had potential to go well,” said Maldonado. “Romain did a great job to finish on the podium and I started my race ahead of him on the grid.

“We know what is possible and our car should go well in Monza. I would love to score a very strong result in Italy as I have so many fans there.”

Maldonado reckons the straight-line speed of his Lotus should mean a strong weekend in Italy, and admits to having a good feeling a good result on a circuit that holds happy memories for the Venezuelan.

“I am really looking forward to Monza this year,” insisted Maldonado. “We’ve shown our car to be pretty good through the speed traps this season and Monza is where you want to be as fast as possible in a straight line.

“Coming off the back of our performance in Spa it’s going to be really interesting to see how we go; I have a good feeling.

“I like Monza and I love Italy. 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.”