Maldonado wants to remain at Williams

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Pastor Maldonado says he wants to remain at Williams despite the team’s poor start to the year.

He and team mate Valtteri Bottas are yet to score after nine races.

“I really want to continue here,” Maldonado said to Autosport, “it is one of the best places for a young driver to be.”

Maldonado said Williams “have a great future, with great potential, and there is no point to change”.

“At the moment I have been not concentrating on the contract of next year,” he added. “We have an order in the team which is to work very hard to fix the problem and improve our performance.”

Last week the team announced technical director Mike Coughlan was leaving the team while Pat Symonds had been hired from Marussia as chief technical officer.

Maldonado has had a mixed career with Williams so far. He joined the team in 2011 when they were struggling, but last year they won the Spanish Grand Prix together and Maldonado impressed in several other races.

Bottas believes the German Grand Prix showed the team are poised to finally start scoring points this year: “The team were very close to securing a double points finish in Germany and the hard work everyone is putting in is moving us in the right direction.”

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”