HUNGARORING, July 25, 2014 (F1plus/Katie Grimmett).- Following Friday practice at the Hungaroring, Pastor Maldonado spoke openly about his future with the Enstone outfit as they begin testing new components before the summer break.
Speaking shortly after FP2, the Venezuelan admitted that he sees himself at Lotus for an extended period of time, noting that continuity is vital to success.
“It is always difficult to get into a team and be there only one year, go away and change it”, he said. “At least two years is the minimum in my opinion just because the first year, you start to know each other and you start to state about the car to the team for next season”, he further explained, referencing the difficult transition period his team has faced.
Lotus-Renault currently sit eighth in the championship standings, seven points adrift of Toro Rosso. Maldonado, who is their only confirmed driver for 2015, is yet to finish in the top ten so far this season. The twenty-nine-year-old hopes this will change next year as planning begins for their 2015 challenger.
“We have been working on it since the first race”, he continued. “There is a department of the factory who work on this car; the car will look quite similar”.
Both Maldonado and his current team mate Romain Grosjean hope that recent changes to their car will better inform the 2015 challenger when it lines up on the grid next year. The Venezuelan revealed that major changes were made to his suspension in free practice to further aid development in the new V6 era.
“This year and next year, they are the same car”, he revealed. “You can only change something in particular”.
Lotus has remained tight-lipped on the identity of the next driver but Grosjean admitted that he is yet to rule out a chance to race for the team again next year.
“I am 99.99% certain they will be better next year”, he told a packed Lotus media session.
The identity of the second Lotus driver is not expected to be confirmed until later this year.