Maldonado reflects on complicated start to 2015 F1 season

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Pastor Maldonado remains upbeat ahead of next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix despite failing to score any points in the opening four rounds of the 2015 Formula 1 season.

The Lotus driver has retired on three occasions so far this year due to problems with the E23 Hybrid car and some on-track incidents, and could only finish 15th in Bahrain due to a brake problem.

However, the underlying pace of the Lotus car has been very impressive in 2015. Maldonado’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, has scored 12 points so far this year and qualified inside the top ten for every single race.

In spite of his own difficulties, Maldonado remains upbeat heading into the European leg of the season, saying that the team has learned a lot from the troublesome start.

“It was a complicated start to the season, the first four races were tough,” Maldonado said. “It wasn’t easy to be hit by other drivers for both Australia and Malaysia.

“I think we learnt a lot from the first two races however as we made a good jump in performance by the Chinese Grand Prix because we had learnt so much about our car.

“We are closer to our rivals, the teams we’re targeting for the championship, and our race pace improved significantly. It’s getting better and better.”

Maldonado has fond memories of racing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which was the site of his solitary grand prix victory back in 2012.

“The circuit has certainly been very good for me in the past, with the win in 2012 being the highlight,” the Venezuelan said. “A top ten in qualifying will be our first focus and then it’ll be a very tough race in terms of tire management, with a lot of pit stops and strategy.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra on May 10.