2016 F1 season will be 'difficult' for Lotus/Renault - Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado admits his Lotus Formula 1 team is in for a difficult season next year even if Renault completes its takeover of the outfit

2016 F1 season will be 'difficult' for Lotus/Renault - Maldonado

Lotus' financial struggles have resulted in very little development on the car this season, leaving the team sixth in the constructors' standings.

Renault has been given until December 7, when the High Court case against Lotus for monies owed to HMRC has been adjourned until, to finalise the deal.

The protracted nature of the negotiations have had an obvious impact on preparations for next year, although technical chief Nick Chester says it is "well-progressed" with development.

Maldonado said: "It's going to be difficult next year, we know that.

"It's going to be our first year, but we need to learn together and try to build the performance.

"I think we have great potential at the factory.

"Maybe we should need some more people, it's normal, just to cover a few more departments. We have all of the tools."

Maldonado is hopeful the deal will go through and if it does, it's something he is relishing.

"It should happen, I think," he said. "We are all waiting for that, expecting this for the team.

"We all agree, we would be very happy to have Renault back in Formula 1.

"In the past I've been working a lot with them, we had a good relationship and hopefully we can start to win again."

Renault's engine has been down on power compared to its rivals this season, but Maldonado believes the French manufacturer is closing the gap.

"Right now, the Mercedes is better but Renault gets closer and closer and better and better," he said.

"At the beginning of the season, I remember passing the Toro Rossos and the Red Bulls on the middle of the straight. Now it's not easy."

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