Maldonado: Lotus hungrier than ever after poor start to 2014

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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.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool