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Maldonado: Lotus has made an incredible step forward

May 17, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado has heaped praise upon his Lotus team for returning to form in 2014 following a disastrous winter period at Enstone.

After being blighted with financial problems and issues with the E22 car, the team started the season with little hope of scoring points in the first few races. However, in Spain, Romain Grosjean qualified an excellent fifth, and brought the car home in eighth place.

Maldonado hasn’t fared as well as his teammate, scoring no points and only recording a best finish of 14th. However, he is still buoyed by the progress that Lotus has made ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

“The car has made a big step forward from where we were,” he explained. “I think it is a great boost for everyone at Enstone and of course as a driver it gives me more confidence in the car so I can aim to achieve better results.

“If you think about where we were and where we are now it is an incredible step forward – particularly when the other teams are moving forward with their development too.

“It’s a true testament to the team’s capabilities and I hope we can start to get the results on track that we so deserve.”

Maldonado’s record around Monaco is somewhat patchy. In Formula 1, he has failed to finish the race, retiring on all three occasions. He has however won there in GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5.

Interestingly, Maldonado was actually banned for life from racing at Monaco after hitting a marshal during a Formula Renault 3.5 race in 2005. However, it was ultimately repealed.

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