Maldonado: Lotus has nothing to lose in Abu Dhabi

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Pastor Maldonado is heading into the final round of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi with an open mind, saying that there is nothing to lose for Lotus after a difficult year.

Maldonado has scored just two points so far this season, with teammate Romain Grosjean only picking up another eight to leave Lotus eighth in the constructors’ championship ahead of only Sauber, Marussia and Caterham.

In Abu Dhabi next weekend, double points are on offer, meaning that Maldonado does have a chance of adding to his paltry total before the season is out. However, he is anticipating a tough weekend at Yas Marina due to the style of the circuit.

“I think it’s going to be tough for us in general to be honest but it shouldn’t be too bad,” Maldonado said. “I think it’s crucial that we try and improve our qualifying pace because as soon as we are in the top twelve, things should be on the up and we’ll be in a good position to fight for points.

“We’ve seen that our race pace is quite competitive so it’s all about starting from the highest grid position possible. We know this is an area we need to make big strides forwards and Romain and I are working closely with the engineers to improve our qualifying results.

“It’s the last race of the season so we have nothing to lose and we’ll just be focusing hard on ironing out any issues with next year in mind.”

Abu Dhabi will mark the end of Renault’s 20-year partnership with the Enstone operation that Lotus now occupies, with the team making the switch to Mercedes power units for 2015.