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.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.