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.
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.