Maldonado relishing return to Monaco

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Pastor Maldonado has high hopes about his return to Monaco for this weekend’s grand prix.

Maldonado has a strong record on the demanding Monte-Carlo street track from his junior career. He has not scored there in his two previous F1 visits, though he came close in 2011 before a controversial collision with Lewis Hamilton.

“I have always been very competitive at Monaco, doing well there in GP2, so I always look forward to this race as I feel very comfortable driving the circuit,” said Maldonado.

“You can also feel the history of Formula One as you drive through the streets and tackle some of the really famous corners.

Although F1 has seen a lot of changes of position during recent races, Maldonado expects qualifying will be of far greater importance in Monaco:

“Qualifying will be very important at this race and is probably 70% of the weekend because overtaking is so difficult and risky,” he explained.

“Tire strategy and tire management is important as you always use the softer compound of tires in Monaco and they are very sensitive this year.”

Williams team mate Valtteri Bottas is making his first appearance at the circuit. “It’s definitely the most challenging race on the calendar for the drivers, being an old school street circuit with no room for mistakes,” he said.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.