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Maldonado: Amazing for Lotus to finish sixth in 2015

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Pastor Maldonado has heaped praise on the entire Lotus team after it managed to finish sixth in this year’s Formula 1 constructors’ championship despite enduring a difficult year off-track.

Lotus’ financial difficulties hit a new peak in 2015 as the team faced court orders and even bailiffs at races due to unpaid bills.

The future of the team has since been secured after French manufacturer Renault confirmed that it would be going ahead with its proposed buy-out ahead of the 2016 season.

Speaking to Lotus’ website, Maldonado stressed that the team’s achievements must be understood in the context of its off-track struggles, making P6 in the constructors’ standings all the more impressive.

“It’s not been the smoothest of year for the team, for all of us really, but on the other hand we really can say that we’ve done an amazing job to reach sixth place in the constructors’ championship given our circumstances,” Maldonado said.

“And now, everyone is looking forward, everyone is working hard to make next year as good as it can be.”

The Venezuelan admitted that he failed to achieve what he wanted across the course of the year, but picked his charge to seventh in Austria as his stand-out race of the 2015 season.

“Even if we didn’t quite achieve what we wanted, there has been a great atmosphere within the whole team, we have really been united and that has been the strongest part of this team,” Maldonado said.

“As a stand-out race, I would pick Austria. We started on a reverse strategy and finished well; it was a good race with the team.

“The beginning of the season was tough for me; not being able to score points. It was hard to break that cycle. After we passed that though, things flowed a lot better.”

Maldonado is set to race for Lotus/Renault once again in 2016, partnering rookie driver Jolyon Palmer.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold