Pastor Maldonado hoping for significant upgrade after F1 summer break

F1i 2/08/2015
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Pastor Maldonado believes Lotus' current level of performance remains positive.

Pastor Maldonado hopes Lotus will bring a significant upgrade to its E23 after the summer break, though he says the current level of performance remains “very positive”.

After a torrid 2014 campaign that yielded only 10 points, the Enstone-based squad has managed to bounce back this year, partly thanks to its new Mercedes power unit.

Lotus’ latest charger also has better aerodynamics than its predecessor, but Maldonado explained in Hungary that the E23 has not received any major development in that area save for a revised wing at Monte Carlo.

“The rear wing was just for Monaco,” said the Venezuelan. “It was a high-downforce one, which is the same as the one we were using [at Budapest]. At this kind of track it is working, but maybe not in Barcelona.

“There have been no more upgrades since the beginning of the season, not big upgrades but, for sure, we have been doing a few things around the car.

“Hopefully, we can have [an important evolution]. It is not clear yet, but we must be very close to having a big one soon. It is the moment to do that, and it should be a good one, so hopefully we can get it soon.”

Maldonado’s own campaign has been quite topsy-turvy, as the 30-year-old kicked off 2015 with five DNFs in the first six races. The ex-Williams racer then delivered a pair of strong performances by securing P7 in both Canada and Austria.

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Maldonado was then punted out of the British Grand Prix following contact with team-mate Romain Grosjean on the opening lap, while last weekend’s Budapest was typified by the Venezuelan’s antics and resulted in three penalties.

Despite all these missed opportunities, Lotus remains within striking distance of fifth-placed Force India (4 points), which introduced a heavily upgraded car last month, and ahead of Toro Rosso in the Constructors’ standings.

“Everyone else has made steps,” added Maldonado. “But if you look at our performance, even without any upgrades we always continue to be there, which is very positive.”

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Mercedes got ahead of itself in Hungarian GP – Toto Wolff

F1i 1/08/2015
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Complacency not allowed: Mercedes.

Toto Wolff admits Mercedes got ahead of itself during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend which contributed to its poor race performance.

Having qualified on the front row, both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had poor starts to drop behind the two Ferraris.

Sebastian Vettel went on to take victory having led in to Turn 1, while Kimi Raikkonen looked set for second place until a reliability issue forced his retirement.

With new restrictions on start procedures set to come in to force at the Belgian Grand Prix, Wolff admits Mercedes had been analysing their potential impacts and feels the team neglected any potential start issues at the Hungaroring.

"We [were] practising Spa-starts on Friday," Wolff told the official Formula One website.

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"Probably we’ve traded the future for the present. You always should live in your time – we’ve probably experienced that [in Hungary]."

And Wolff says Mercedes' poor starts are making its rivals look better after Williams also jumped to the front at the start of the British Grand Prix.

"[In Hungary] it was Ferrari – at the last race it was Williams. Probably they look so good as we didn’t make a great impression."

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Toro Rosso aero equal to Mercedes at high speed – Franz Tost

F1i 1/08/2015
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On par with the best: Toro Rosso.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says the STR10's aerodynamics have proven to be equal to that of Mercedes in high speed corners.

Despite being beaten by Ferrari in Hungary, Mercedes continues to dominate under the current regulations and is competitive at all circuits as it combines the best power unit with strong aerodynamics.

Toro Rosso scored its best result of the season so far in Hungary as Max Verstappen finished fifth, leaving the team seventh in the constructors' championship.

Tost says the team's target of finishing fifth remains achievable and feels reliability has masked the true potential of the car's performance.

"It's true, the aerodynamics is working very well and in some of the high speed corners, it has been proved that the car is almost as good and sometimes even equal to the Mercedes," Tost said.

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"During these first ten races we have unfortunately left quite a few points behind due to reliability issues. If it wasn't for this, we would definitely be further up in the Constructors' Championship, but we continue to work hard with our partners to improve this and come back stronger in the second half of the season.

"We are all very motivated because sooner or later the good results will come. Max 4th position in Hungary proves that we are working in the right direction. It's true that there have been mistakes on our side and there is certainly room for improvement in many areas."

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