After a difficult start to the 2014 Formula 1 season, Pastor Maldonado has said that his Lotus team is hungrier than ever to fight back and set itself up for a strong campaign in 2015.
The Venezuelan driver has not scored any points so far this season, whilst teammate Romain Grosjean has struggled to match his 2013 form, scoring just eight points. The E22 car has been problematic, but Maldonado believes that there are encouraging signs that should not be ignored.
“We have seen flashes of big promise from the E22,” he said. “If everything is running right and the team continues to push then we can get more points for sure.
“As a team we will stay together with a clear mission to achieve the maximum. That way we will come back stronger and become a force in 2015.
“But first we are hungrier than ever to get back in to the mix for points again in 2014.”
It has been a difficult year or so at Enstone. The team has come back from the brink of financial collapse, and although it may rank eighth in the constructors’ championship, there have been moments where the car has looked capable of fighting in the top ten.
At the Spanish Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean qualified an excellent fifth before finishing eighth, and although he hasn’t scored any points since the Monaco Grand Prix, the Frenchman has certainly shown signs of the promise that we saw at the end of last year.
The worst of the storm may be over for Lotus, but the focus now must be on getting the team back to the shore to prepare for the 2015 season.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”