Maldonado happy to be losing ‘crash kid’ tag

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Pastor Maldonado has revealed that he is feeling more relaxed this year after a tenuous 2012 season which saw him become tagged as the ‘crash kid’ of Formula One.

“Everyone can have a difficult moment,” Maldonado explained to Autosport. “At the same time, I had a hard time with the stewards, because after I had a couple of incidents, they were maybe looking at me more than the others.

“But you learn from your mistakes. I’m more experienced and more relaxed now, and I’m looking forward to being away from the stewards.”

Maldonado has however failed to finish both of the opening two races, but neither retirement was caused by an accident. Williams have struggled with their new car, the FW35, but Maldonado is coming to accept that he cannot win every race.

“Maybe I was pushing too much [last season]. I did not realize that the car did not have the performance to win all the races. In the past I’ve always been fighting for victories and Formula 1 is completely different.

“Sometimes you need to be happy with a 10th place.”

This new-found maturity will certainly please many of Maldonado’s critics who had seen him as having a negative impact on the sport, but his fans will hope that becoming more relaxed does not cause the Venezuelan driver to lose his will to win.

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.