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Maldonado relishing return to Monaco

May 20, 2013, 12:02 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado has high hopes about his return to Monaco for this weekend’s grand prix.

Maldonado has a strong record on the demanding Monte-Carlo street track from his junior career. He has not scored there in his two previous F1 visits, though he came close in 2011 before a controversial collision with Lewis Hamilton.

“I have always been very competitive at Monaco, doing well there in GP2, so I always look forward to this race as I feel very comfortable driving the circuit,” said Maldonado.

“You can also feel the history of Formula One as you drive through the streets and tackle some of the really famous corners.

Although F1 has seen a lot of changes of position during recent races, Maldonado expects qualifying will be of far greater importance in Monaco:

“Qualifying will be very important at this race and is probably 70% of the weekend because overtaking is so difficult and risky,” he explained.

“Tire strategy and tire management is important as you always use the softer compound of tires in Monaco and they are very sensitive this year.”

Williams team mate Valtteri Bottas is making his first appearance at the circuit. “It’s definitely the most challenging race on the calendar for the drivers, being an old school street circuit with no room for mistakes,” he said.

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