Maldonado unconcerned by changes to Parabolica at Monza

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Pastor Maldonado believes that the controversial changes made to the famous Parabolica corner at Monza won’t make too much of a difference when Formula 1 returns to the track for next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

The gravel run-off at Parabolica was replaced by tarmac last month in a move to improve safety at the high-speed circuit, but was met with a backlash from the F1 community. For many, the challenge of the corner had been removed as drivers would now be able to run wide without being punished.

In Maldonado’s eyes though, the change won’t make a great amount of difference for how drivers approach or take Parabolica.

“I don’t think it will make too much difference really,” the Lotus driver said. “The approach will be the same which is to take it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“Of course there is the obvious safety element which means that you have less risk if you go off.

“I think this is good from a safety point of view because it is a quick corner with not that much room on the outside.”

On the other side of the Lotus garage, Romain Grosjean believes that the changes will tempt drivers into taking more risks at Parabolica now that they have plenty of room to run wide.

“I think that now what you will see is the drivers finding the limits sooner,” Grosjean said. “We know there will not be the big gravel and crash penalty like previously.”

Both Lotus drivers will be hoping to add to the team’s total of eight points in Italy, even if Monza will play against the strengths of the E22 car.

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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