Maldonado remains confident of points following tough start to 2015

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Pastor Maldonado remains confident that he can score his first points for the 2015 Formula 1 season at next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix despite currently sitting at the bottom of the drivers’ championship standings.

With five retirements and one 15th-place finish from the first six races of the season, Maldonado lies behind both Manor drivers and Fernando Alonso, all of whom also have zero points to their name.

That said, of the four drivers currently without points, Maldonado has perhaps looked the most capable of doing so, often running inside the top ten before a problem on his car has forced him to retire.

This was true of the last race in Monaco, when the Venezuelan was forced to retire early on due to a brake-by-wire system failure on his car. He had started the race from eighth place on the grid and looked poised to pick up some points.

“Of course it was frustrating, but that’s the way that racing goes sometimes,” Maldonado said, reflecting on last weekend’s race. “There were lots of positives; we qualified well and the car felt good on the track.

“Unfortunately there was an issue with a part and the only alternative was to retire the car. That’s racing sometimes.”

Lotus has made a far better start to the 2015 season thanks to the all-new E23 Hybrid car, which is powered by a Mercedes engine. Maldonado is sure that no matter what the circuit is, the car is capable of taking him into the top ten, filling him with hope ahead of the race in Montreal next weekend.

“I’ve approaching every race wanting to finish in the points,” he said. “The circuit in Canada has its own challenges but there’s nothing to say we shouldn’t be fast there. This year’s car has felt good so I’ll be pushing for points in the race.

“At most of the races this year we’ve looked strong all through the weekend and it’s been the final piece of crossing the finish line in the points which has been out of reach. That’s what we want this weekend.”

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.