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Onwards and upwards for Gastaldi and Lotus

May 18, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

Pastor Maldonado AP

Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi is hopeful that the team can continue its rapid rate of development and score some more points in Monaco next weekend.

The team has fought back after a difficult winter period, with Romain Grosjean scoring its first points of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend. Although it still marks quite a come-down from the race winning exploits of the Enstone-outfit last season, Gastaldi still has high hopes of getting back to the front.

“Our only targets are to continue the upward curve in performance and reliability and to ensure we are in the best position possible to score points,” he explained in the team’s grand prix preview. “We want to get back to where we were in 2012 and 2013, which is challenging consistently at the front of the field.”

Of course, Monaco is no ordinary F1 weekend, and there has traditionally been a low number of finishers around the city streets. This could aid Lotus’ bid to score some more points, but Gastaldi is also aware of the other side of the sword.

“Monaco is so unique and distinct,” he said. “You really have to be there to understand it. The track is such a challenge for the drivers and the engineers, and the barriers are so close to punish even the slightest mistake.

“I’m not a betting man and I have been to enough Monaco Grands Prix to know that anything can happen there – and it usually does.

“This could bite us or it could help us because overtaking is so difficult.”

Drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have also both set their sights on some points next weekend at F1’s glamor event. For Grosjean, it marks a year since his lowest point in Formula 1 when his career appeared to be in tatters. Since then, he has transformed himself into a mature racer that has the makings of a grand prix winner.

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