Maldonado doubles up on sevenths, and scores for second straight GP


Seventh place for Pastor Maldonado in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix might not sound like much, until you realize the rarity of what he did in the scope of his entire Formula 1 career.

The Venezuelan, now 30 and into his fifth season in the sport, scored his second straight seventh place after also coming seventh in Montreal two weeks ago.

This marks the second straight race Maldonado has scored points, which is only the second time he has ever recorded back-to-back scores in his 85-race, 84-start Grand Prix career.

The only other time Maldonado pulled it off was in 2012, then driving for Williams, when he finished fifth at Abu Dhabi and ninth in Austin. This marks the first time Maldonado has done it in his Lotus career.

He only scored points once in the 2011, 2013 and 2014 seasons, so this already means Maldonado is well ahead of where he was in each of those seasons.

This result was clearly earned, after Maldonado made two dynamic saves during the race.

One came out of Turn 1, when Maldonado lost the car on exit but saved it to the inside of the track. A later one came when battling Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen for position, and Maldonado wiggled but somehow managed to save the car after nearly careening out of control on the front straight.

After the team’s double score in Montreal, Maldonado was only to happy to keep the results run going in Spielberg.

“It was a good battle with Verstappen despite losing some grip and downforce,” Maldonado said in the team’s post-race release. “I saw some areas where he wasn’t as quick as me and I got the chance to overtake. It was close at times but we both had respect and we had a clean, good battle.”

Maldonado now has a chance, at Silverstone, to achieve something he never has in his career: three scores in a row.