Clark and Nasir serve up another round of discussions on the Spanish Grand Prix the upcoming Grand Prix de Monaco, we have a special interview with Colton Herta from Donington and here are some thoughts from our favorite F1 driver Pasto Maldonado…
What makes Monaco so special for you Pastor?
First of all it’s such an historic Grand Prix and an iconic race for Formula 1. I really love it. I’ve been very quick in the past and I think it is one of the most special weekends of the year. The atmosphere is unique. The track is really challenging and changes a lot over the sessions, which you need to anticipate. It’s difficult to be quick close to the walls and overall it’s a very tough race, demanding in terms of concentration and stressful physically and mentally. The only negative thing is that it is quite difficult to overtake, but it is not impossible.
What are your favourite parts of the circuit?
I really like the Casino and Swimming Pool sections. Every corner in Monaco has its own challenge, and own individual approach needed – that is probably the beauty of the circuit there. It’s where I live now so I might be biased, but it’s a very special place.
What are your early memories of Monaco?
Monaco was always my favourite track when I was watching Formula 1 on TV as a kid. Then the first time I went to a Grand Prix was also Monaco, in 2003, which was my first year in Formula Renault. Juan Pablo Montoya won and it was amazing to see how close they were to the wall and how quick the cars were, because they had V10 engines then. Another good Monaco memory for me is winning in GP2 in 2007 and 2009.
It was something of an interesting Spanish Grand Prix for you – how was it from your perspective?
Our luck hasn’t been great but this is racing. With the damaged rear wing endplate I suffered early in the race, we lost some downforce for sure. However, the pace was still there and I was pushing to try and recover. Unfortunately we had to retire the car on Lap 45. I didn’t get a chance to speak to Romain because we both left immediately after the race. It was a very little touch. It happened but we move on, it’s all a part of racing. We have a car that has a lot of potential and we are fighting ever higher in the field. We have a good engine and the tyres are lasting longer and that makes us confident that we can get some good results in the near future. We need to stay strong and as soon as the bad luck passes it will be very fun!
How much progress was made at the test?
We had a list of plenty of parts to test. Even in the 60 laps we did on the day, we didn’t have enough time to test everything but it was satisfying. A lot of the work we did was also in preparation of the next race and as always we learnt a lot during the test. Monaco is a very different approach for the team and the drivers. I have been working at 100% so that we are fully prepared. The car is in good shape, we have discovered some things during the test which have made us confident going into Monaco so I am looking forward to doing my best. We are expecting a Monaco-specific aero package. I think we can make some big jumps still, we have good potential and we can do much better throughout the European season!
What have you been working on back at Enstone in the simulator?
I’ve been experimenting with different setups and aero combinations which contributes not only to Monaco next weekend but also to the other upcoming races. Also, we’ve recorded some more data for the engineers to analyse and build on. It is positive to be here at the factory in between races. I will have some time off this weekend with my family but then it is back to work ready for the Monaco Grand Prix!