Maldonado: Hot conditions could help Lotus in Malaysia

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Pastor Maldonado believes that hot and humid conditions at next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix could play into his hands as Lotus looks to bounce back from a difficult start to the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Following a strong showing in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, both Maldonado and Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean were forced to retire from the race after a single lap.

Maldonado had made a good start from P9 on the grid, but was spun into the wall at turn two following contact with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.

“It was really frustrating as the car looked good all weekend,” Maldonado said. “Better even than it had looked in testing, and we had good potential with our race pace and durability. Then my race was undone in the first corners.

“There was nothing I could do as there was contact occurring behind me which then collected my car. It was difficult to look at the damage done to the car as I knew how hard all the crew in the pits and the rest of the team at Enstone had been working.”

Lotus had been poised for a strong double score, but Maldonado thinks that the extreme heat that will be experienced in Malaysia next weekend could be to his advantage as the E23 Hybrid car works better in warmer conditions.

“Certainly, everything we’ve seen so far with the E23 suggests that it should be a good all-rounder,” Maldonado explained. “Sepang can get very hot, and our car seems to like hot conditions so that could be a point in our favour.”

Since making his F1 debut back in 2011, Maldonado is yet to complete a grand prix in Malaysia. Although he was classified as a finisher in 2012, he failed to see the flag after an engine failure with two laps remaining.