Pastor Maldonado looking forward to return to Europe

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Pastor Maldonado is pleased with his performance at today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but he is relishing the return to Europe in three weeks’ time when Williams is expected to bring upgrades for the FW35 car.

Maldonado finished in a season-best of 11th, and he believes that it was the most he could have achieved this weekend.

“Considering the problems we have been having, I think we got 100% out of the car today,” Maldonado said in a team statement. “We put everything together today, working well as a team and managing the tires, and 11th was the maximum we could have achieved.”

The upgrades are likely to see an improvement in performance for Williams, and Maldonado will be keen on scoring their first points of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“We are really looking forward to the next race where we should see a step forward. We must stay together and positive. It’s a difficult time, but we still have many races to go.”

Last season saw Maldonado win the Spanish Grand Prix for Williams, but with the car blighting his form and that of teammate Valtteri Bottas, they will struggle to repeat this result in 2013. To make matters worse, Force India has made a strong start to the season, and look to be leading the battle for 6th in this year’s constructors’ championship.

UPDATED: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama under red-flag race stoppage due to rain

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UPDATE: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.