Maldonado only 12th, but calls Austria “a good weekend”

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After a miserable start to the 2014 season, Pastor Maldonado was feeling positive after securing his best finish of the year at the Austrian Grand Prix today.

The Venezuelan driver may have crossed the line in 12th place and a lap down, but the result does see him move off the bottom of the drivers’ championship, and he was pleased with how his race at the Red Bull Ring went.

“For me in the car it was actually quite a good weekend,” Maldonado explained after the race. “We finished the race which is positive and we made the most of the package we had today.

“We are losing a lot of time in the slow speed corners and we need to keep improving in this area to be more like our good high speed corner performance.”

After qualifying yesterday, Maldonado expressed his frustration over the Renault engine which is less powerful than its Mercedes and Ferrari rivals. Although this has been a recurring problem in 2014, it was particularly damaging here. To make matters worse, a brake problem on his car meant that he was not totally comfortable, but he was still pleased with the race as a whole.

“Unfortunately we had some brake issues from very early on in the race so I wasn’t able to fight others around me, even though it was nice to be running in the top ten during the course of the race,” he said. “After that, it was a case of saving fuel and brakes to get to the chequered flag. I think Silverstone will suit us much better.”

Maldonado’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, also struggled, and could only cross the line in 14th place and one minute behind his teammate.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.