FORMULA 1

PASTOR MALDONADO’ BRAZILIAN GRAND PREVIEW

Pastor Maldonado keeps rolling on the Latin vibe for the Brazilian Grand Prix at São Paulo’s fabulous Interlagos circuit.

We are going from one of the newest circuits on the calendar to one of the oldest; what do you think of Interlagos?

Interlagos may not have the most impressive infrastructure these days but it is a great, historic circuit. I really love the track, the atmosphere and the people. Brazilians have such a great Formula 1 heritage and for me it will be great to be at another event where there are a lot of Venezuelans in the crowds. Hopefully we can have a great race and put on another good show for the South American fans.

What are the challenges of the layout?

Technically it’s always tricky to find a set-up balance between the twisty parts of the circuit and the long straights. In an ideal world you’d want Monza-spec for the start and end of the lap and Hungaroring-spec for the rest! Different drivers and teams will make different compromises, which all adds up to an interesting race. Some will go for greater straight-line speed to help them pass and defend in the race, others more downforce for a better lap time and less sliding. Bumps can also be an issue and there are several overtaking opportunities on the track which rewards late braking, both to go on the attack and keep rivals behind. Last but not least the unpredictable weather is sure to keep us on our toes.

We’ve seen some epic races in Interlagos where wet weather has been a factor and thunderstorms are present…

We all know the amount of rain which can fall in São Paulo and the Interlagos track even has grooves cut into it to help the water flow off the track! It’s a challenging circuit in the dry and even more so in the wet, but there have been some amazing races over the years because of this. One of the great aspects of racing at Interlagos is you can almost feel the vibe of the crowd as well as hear their enthusiasm, even when the rain is falling. Whatever the weather, we’ll be pushing for the best result possible.

How do you look back over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend?

It was a superb return to Mexico for Formula 1 and it was enjoyable for everyone. We received a warm welcome and the facilities were spectacular. For a first race back after so many years off the calendar it was such a well-run and superbly organised Grand Prix. It’s certainly an event I’m really looking forward to on the calendar for many future seasons.

How did you enjoy your race-long battle with Romain?

I made a better start than him so it was great to get ahead, but then we lost that through traffic at my first pit stop. After that we were always very close on track, even when we were fighting other cars. At the end of the race I felt much quicker but it is a hard place to pass. Nevertheless I kept pushing as that’s what racers do. I would have been happier finishing in front, but we both delivered well for the team and hopefully gave the fans plenty of excitement too.

Are you hoping to show more fighting spirit for the final two races of 2015?

I always want to show fighting spirit! We have two races to end the year, at two very different race tracks. We want to score as many points as possible and we’ll be doing everything we can to achieve that. I’m never scared to race whoever else is after the same points I’m pursuing so we’ll definitely keep fighting till the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.