Pastor Maldonado ready for Bahrain’s physical challenge

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Pastor Maldonado may have not scored any points so far this season, but his main focus this weekend appears to be on taming the physical challenge that the Bahrain Grand Prix poses.

Although rain is forecast for large parts of the race weekend, the heat in Bahrain usually makes endurance and composure just as much of a challenge as racing and overtaking.

“Because the Sakhir Circuit is in the desert the track conditions can change quite a lot during the weekend, especially with the sand being blown across the surface,” explained Maldonado.

“So the teams will have to be ready to react to the different conditions. The temperatures in the cockpit are also going to be very high so as a driver you have to be prepared both physically and mentally to deal with that and I’m expecting to lose between 2 and 3kg during the race.”

Maldonado also spoke about working with the Pirelli tires, which degraded very quickly in China to cause trouble for many of the teams. The Venezuelan driver is expecting the situation to be similar in Bahrain.

“Tire degradation is also expected to be quite high at this race which can always throw up some interesting challenges for the teams.”

Despite winning last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, Maldonado has failed to impress so far this season for Williams, and they are the only team yet to score alongside Marussia and Caterham. Both Maldonado and teammate Valtteri Bottas are struggling with the FW35 car, yet they could be in a position to open their 2013 accounts relying they can keep their cool in Bahrain.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.