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.

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.