Pastor Maldonado is better than he gets credit for says Lotus team

Pastor Maldonado dealt with Lotus's tough 2014 Formula 1 season better than Romain Grosjean and does not deserve his "awfully bad" image, reckons the team's trackside operations director Alan Permane

Pastor Maldonado is better than he gets credit for says Lotus team

Maldonado only once made it into the points in F1 in 2014 as Lotus tumbled down the order.

But Permane said Lotus had only praise for Maldonado's attitude in adversity, despite the Venezuelan seeing his former team Williams surge forward.

"Pastor has an awfully bad image from the outside, and of course he does do some silly things on track every now and again," Permane told AUTOSPORT.

"But to work with, he's one of the best drivers I've ever worked with - his feedback, how calm he is, nothing flusters him at all.

"He's very, very good and he works incredibly hard. Whatever's happening, he's in there doing his stuff and getting on with it.

"There's very rarely a magic button to press, it's just hard work that gets you out of trouble. And he recognises that and gets on with it.

"It's no secret he brings a lot of funding to the team. In his position, it would be very easy for him to have tantrums and get hysterical, and he's not done it once. Never. I think that's great."

GROSJEAN FRUSTRATED
Permane admitted that Grosjean let the frustration of 2014 get to him more than Maldonado.

"Pastor doesn't get frustrated in his nature, and there's no doubt Romain did get frustrated about [2014] - he wants to succeed, he wants to win races, he wants to win championships, and we had a very bad year," Permane added.

"I think how Romain drove in the last half of 2013 was exceptional - he was the only person to take any sort of fight to the Red Bulls.

"Pastor, I think, deals with [problems] a little better. It's not that his hunger or desire is any less, it just comes out in a different way.

"It does affect Romain, whereas Pastor will sit and think about it then come to you with a list of 'why don't we try this, this and this'."

ASKING TOO MUCH
Asked if Maldonado was better at driving within the tricky Lotus E22's limits while Grosjean tended to demand too much of it, Permane replied: "I think that's true. That's Romain's frustration.

"He wants to do well so much and he's been asking stuff of the car that it can't do.

"That really only comes out on a Friday with him. By the time we get to Saturday he's got his head around it and realised it.

"But he really wants to make a big step, and instead of making a couple of tenths and sneaking a place, he wants to qualify in the middle of the top 10, and the car just wasn't capable of that.

"What we need to do is give him a car that's predictable and doesn't have any nasty traits to it.

"We'll get more out of Romain like that."

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