Pastor Maldonado arrives at the Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix after back-to-back top ten finishes at Suzuka and Sochi, and is looking for a hat trick of consecutive points finishes this weekend.
Maldonado returns to the track where, in 2014, he secured his first points for his Lotus F1 Team when he finished ninth, and feels the atmosphere around the Circuit of the Americas is ‘special’.
“Austin is a great track, it’s a challenging layout which is refreshing to drive and it’s an enjoyable event,” reflected Maldonado. “The first turn is quite something with its very steep climb and the rest of the lap flows well.
“The atmosphere at the circuit is really special, even for the first time we visited. It’s great to see the RVs at the side of the track and people staying at the circuit to enjoy the full weekend.
“The circuit can be a difficult one for tyres. The event is taking place earlier in the year this season so hopefully there’s plenty of sun to burn off any morning fog! Certainly, there can be a variety with the weather and in the past we’ve seen it be quite cold at the start of the day.”
Maldonado believes he should be in contention for points this weekend, especially as the E23 Hybrid has been working well pretty much all season long. Maldonado has yet to score points in three consecutive Grand Prix during his career, but has the opportunity to break that run in the United States following consecutive top ten finishes in Japan and Russia.
“I think Austin offers us a good opportunity,” affirms Maldonado. “The circuit shouldn’t pose any particular problems as long as we can get the tyres working as we want.
“The E23 is a car that generally works well so we have a good baseline to start with. At this point of the year we’re pretty on top of things like set-up and getting the most out of the car so it’s a case of getting the laps and simulations done in practice, qualifying as well as possible then targeting points in the race.”