Pastor Maldonado says Lotus F1 team can regularly fight for points
|By Edd Straw||Monday, August 4th 2014, 14:14 GMT|
Lotus will be able to fight for points more regularly when Formula 1 returns following the August break, according to Pastor Maldonado.
Maldonado has failed to score in 2014, with team-mate Romain Grosjean managing only eight points so far for two eighth places.
While Renault-powered Lotus is not expected to be competitive in the first two races after the break at Spa and Monza, Maldonado expects to be in a good position once F1 returns to more orthodox tracks.
"Forget about Spa and Monza, but if we go to a track where the engine is not very important, we will be fighting for the top 10," said Maldonado when asked by AUTOSPORT about whether he expects to be able to score points.
"Maybe we are not the quickest, but we are in a good position.
"The car is much better, we have found a better balance and I'm also more confident because I know the team better."
The Venezuelan is also confident of a stronger showing relative to team-mate Grosjean during the second half of the season.
Maldonado has been outqualified by Grosjean 10-1 over the course of the season and only beaten him once in the three races in which both have been classified.
"I am often ahead of my team-mate when the car is not broken," said Maldonado.
"He's a quick driver, very experienced, he has more experience with the team as well and we are learning from each other, which is very important."
Maldonado's deal to continue with Lotus in 2015 is already in place but he insists this will not change his approach to the rest of the season.
However he accepts that the team's chances depend largely on minimising the problems with the Renault engine.
"I will be focused on always doing my best, trying to keep the spirit of the team very high and to achieve good results from now until the end of the season," said Maldonado.
"It's difficult to say if we will do it [get the results] or we will not, just because the problems, all the situations, we are having with the power unit.
"But at least in the background we are a team which is doing the best we can to be there."