Points will come with a clean race – Maldonado

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, Malaysia

Pastor Maldonado is confident he and Lotus can score points once he enjoys a clean race.

Maldonado was tagged by Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix, and suffered a puncture, dropping to the back of the field.

The Lotus racer battled his way back through the field, but was forced to retire late in the race owing to a braking issue.

It is the Venezuelan’s second retirement of the season after he was pitted into a crash at Turn 2 on the opening lap of the race in Australia.

“The potential is clearly there, especially in the race where the car pace is very competitive and we can score good points,” Maldonado said.

“Unfortunately there was an incident on the first lap which lost me a lot of time and compromised the race from then on.

“Despite dropping to the very back for the field, we switched to a different strategy and we recovered well.

“Unfortunately, we suffered from a brake issue, which isn’t great but it’s effectively our first race and we need to keep working through issues, ready for the next Grand Prix. As soon as we have a clean race, we will be fighting for good points.”

Romain Grosjean came home 11th in the sister Lotus, but shares his team-mates belief that the team will soon be back in the points.

“Overall we had quite a good race with a strong first lap and some nice overtaking, although I lost a lot of time behind Hulkenberg and then the spin with Perez in such a fast corner,” he explained.

“I had some fun overtaking with Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force India, which was great, and we had a good strategy but we lost too much time to benefit from it.

“I also had an issue with my drinks bottle which added to the fun. Overall the car behaved well though and we’re not far from the top ten so we’ll work to close the gap for China.”

Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team

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