Pastor Maldonado has his best chance of the year to score some points in tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix after qualifying in 11th place on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.
The Lotus driver produced an impressive pace in the first session to ease through to Q2, and fell less than one-tenth of a second shy of making it into the top ten.
He will however start the race from 10th place due to Jenson Button’s five-place grid penalty.
“It wasn’t too bad, much better than usual,” Maldonado said when asked about his qualifying performance by MotorSportsTalk. “We did our best. It seems like the car is much better here. This is positive, especially looking forward to the next season.
“Maybe it’s a step forwards, maybe we are learning more about the car, maybe the track is better for our car. I think we worked quite well. The car as you know is not the most competitive one in the paddock. I tried to pull that altogether. Today in FP3 we were quite competitive, so not too bad. I’m quite happy.”
However, Maldonado refused to say with certainty that he will be in the race for points tomorrow given that he has failed to score any points so far this year, but he feels that he is in a strong position to break this duck in Austin.
“Let’s do our best,” he said. “Races are never down to one side. We need to value what is going on around with other people, the other teams’ strategies are very important now. It seems like it’s going to be more than one stop not as usual. We’ll see tomorrow.
“The track is getting better and better, which is better strategy-wise. We are in a good position for tires, which is quite positive, so we’ll see.”
Maldonado’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, will start the race from P16 after failing to make it out of Q1 in Austin.