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Five minutes with Pastor Maldonado

POSTED BY Mick Chan ON 26 March 2014
2014 Lotus Renault Farikullah Maldonado Cars Bikes Trucks

Maldonado (right), with Group Lotus chief operating officer Aslam Farikullah.

Pastor Maldonado joins the Lotus Renault Formula 1 team from this year, after three years driving for the Williams team where he made his Formula 1 debut.

Maldonado won the 2010 GP2 Series championship prior to his entry to what is widely regarded as the premier open-wheel championship. Cars Bikes Trucks speaks briefly with the 29-year-old Venezuelan, as hosts Lotus introduce their new signing to the Malaysian delicacy that is kuih talam.

Cars Bikes Trucks: So Pastor, how’s Malaysia been for you?
Pastor Maldonado: Great, it’s always challenging with the heat and the humidity. Drivers especially always have to stay in top form, as you can get dehydrated during race stints.

CBT: The big news in F1 this year is the move to a smaller, turbocharged engine working in conjunction with the ERS (energy recovery system). What are the key challenges this year?
PM: For sure the powertrain is the biggest challenge. As you might know, everyone struggled in winter testing, and we also had to work with very limited mileage in pre season testing. We struggled with the engines, and heat is a big issue particularly with turbocharging, especially at venues like Sepang.

It is a whole new car, with turbocharging and ERS. With last year’s cars there was already a huge amount of information to handle; this year with the new systems we have about three times the parameters that we now have to monitor.

2014 Lotus Renault Pastor Maldonado Cars Bikes Trucks

CBT: Melbourne was a tough weekend for you, to say the least. What are the team’s goals this year, and what is your strategy for this weekend at Sepang?
PM: It was horrible, definitely not how we wanted to start the season. Our goal for Sepang is to finish the race; we really need to gather mileage on the cars to compile data, only then we can look forward further towards achieving better results.

The energy recovery system is one of the newer parameters we are working with; we have to determine which part of the circuit should be used for recharging, and where we can apply boost. Of course, each track we go to is different.

CBT: Back at the headquarters, do you live near the team’s home base in Enstone?
PM: Yes, I stay close by, the team is like a family and we will be working very closely together in developments through the season.

CBT: This is your first year with the team. What influenced your decision to join Lotus Renault?
PM: It was the facilities, and like I said I have found the people in the team to be great to work with. After my time with Williams, I felt that it was time for change, and Lotus Renault turned out to be a good fit.

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