After three years with Williams F1 Team, Pastor Maldonado makes the step up to join Lotus F1 Team, partnering long term recruit Romain Grosjean, someone with whom he raced with during his junior years.
Pastor brings with him a wealth of experience, and plenty of podium achievements following his success with his former Formula 1 team in 2012. Despite a tricky year in 2013, the career and accolades of the Venezuelan driver speak for themselves and the future looks very positive indeed.
How excited are you about kicking off the new season with Lotus F1 Team?
It’s great to start the season with Lotus F1 Team. For me it’s something very special, and it’s part of the big transition of progressing in Formula 1. After three years in one team, it will now be my fourth season at a higher level, and I’m very happy to part of this fantastic team. Lotus F1 Team have been very successful in the past, been competitive on track and have won a lot of races. We’re working very hard to again be one of the best and fighting for wins.
You have 58 Grands Prix starts under your belt; what experience can you bring to the team?
I’ve been learning a lot, especially in the first two years. I don’t count last year as it was so difficult, but even in the difficult times you can learn a lot and I’ve used all of that as an experience and I feel ready to get back to the top. In the past I’ve been quite good in my last team, and maybe here I will get extra power to be more consistent and I think together we can make a very strong team.
You already know Romain Grosjean, are you looking forward to working together?
I know Romain from some years ago, he’s a good guy. He’s a great driver and we’ve competed in the lower categories together. We’ve both always been at the top so I’m really looking forward to working with him. I think we are both real fighters on track, so I hope we can both do our best for the team.
How different do you expect the racing will be with such big regulation changes?
The difference we see from last year to 2014 is huge, and it will have a huge influence in terms of racing, and racing style. I think the drivers, together with the team, must work a lot to adapt to this new style of racing. We’ve been working in the simulator for a while and I feel optimistic. Let’s go for it!
What do you think of the E22?
The E22 is just amazing, I think it’s the most revolutionary car in the paddock. The car looks great, it’s a combination between the new technology and many other new ideas. It’s pretty special to see the nose like that – I’ve never seen something like that in the past! It’s something completely new for Formula 1, and we’re fully confident with this solution. I can’t wait to be in the car and try it out on track.
What are your targets and objectives for 2014?
The season ahead is really a big question mark. We need to start with great expectations, we need to do our best from the beginning. For sure it will be quite hard, for all the teams and all the drivers, with the new regulations but we’re really looking forward to fight for the best, and to fight for the Championship.
Why the number 13?
The reason I choose the number 13 is just because I like it. In Venezuela it is not an unlucky number and it actually has a long history in Venezuelan sport.