Pastor Maldonado has explained how problems with the Renault power unit in his Lotus car are still hindering his pace and progress, despite the French engine manufacturer believing that it would be up to speed for this weekend’s race.
Earlier this week, Renault’s head of track said that Montreal would be “the first full opportunity to see where we are versus the competition”. However, Maldonado explained that he does not feel any difference in the engine this weekend after a tough day of practice for Lotus.
“Tough, very tough, a lot of problems in the car,” he explained. “To be honest, I was expecting something more extreme in terms of pace, but we are not far away from the top ten. We need to put everything together, and let’s see what we can do.
“I think it’s gonna be difficult to be there because of the lack of power. We are losing more than 10km/h on every straight, it’s quite a lot. We’ll see tomorrow. At the moment, it’s normal.”
The Venezuelan driver finished the second session down in 15th place, two-tenths down on teammate Romain Grosjean, who finished up in P11.
Maldonado also revealed that he was unaware of why Daniel Ricciardo got a reprimand for dangerously overtaking him in the pits.
“I don’t know,” he said, whilst shrugging his shoulders. “I don’t remember.”
The one-time grand prix winner has made a poor start to the season, and is currently last in the drivers’ championship. However, should everything come together for the team in Canada, he might be able to battle for the small points.
The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.
The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.
The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.
ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend
The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.
A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.
Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:
(All times are Eastern)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1
Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2
10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3
10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout
IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4
10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race