Gastaldi: Lotus needs to gain momentum at Spa and Monza

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Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has said that the team is feeling motivated ahead of the second half of the 2014 Formula 1 season, but drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean must pick up some points in the next two races to create some momentum at Enstone.

The British team has not scored any points since the Monaco Grand Prix some three months ago, leaving it eighth in the constructors’ standings behind Toro Rosso.

However, Gastaldi says that the team is feeling refreshed and refocused ahead of F1’s return from the summer break in Belgium next weekend.

“It is a feeling of huge motivation to keep pushing and to try and turn our season around as much as we can,” Gastaldi said. “We now have just two more races in Europe with the rest all flyaway races, so we need to make sure we gain some good momentum.

“Hopefully that will be triggered by some points at Spa and Monza. It won’t be easy because these two circuits are power tracks but as ever we will be fighting for the optimum result.”

The summer break has forced all of the teams to take some time off, but Gastaldi said that Lotus has been working as hard as possible around this to try and resolve the issues that have blighted its 2014 campaign.

“Although we had the enforced summer shutdown, our team will not have stopped thinking and visualising the races ahead,” he said. “F1 never stops, especially in the talented brains at Enstone.

“I can guarantee that all our team had a long think about the season so far and then resolved to ensure we do as much as is humanly possible to extract the maximum from the second phase of 2014.”

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

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Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”