Another 'big step forward' from Lotus - Maldonado
Pastor Maldonado believes Lotus has made another significant improvement after he topped the timesheets at the second day of the in-season Barcelona test on Wednesday.
In the winter Lotus struggled to accumulate mileage after missing the Jerez test completely, but demonstrated how far it has come since then by recording 102 laps on Wednesday. Romain Grosjean scored Lotus' first points of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix and Maldonado thinks the team has even more reason to be optimistic ahead of Monaco following its positive run-out in Barcelona.
"It's a big step forward," Maldonado said. "It was a complete day, and it was actually our first normal test without any problems. [Tuesday] was quite good but the track was not 100% so Wednesday was really important to get on the track and run our plan. We completed all of our plan which is very positive.
"Apart from the result I pretty happy because we didn't have any big issues or problems around the car, it was all working quite good. We have learned more from the car, it's getting better and better in my opinion.
"These two days were important for us to continue the level of settings, try different things. We did a good programme, it was quite busy to be honest. We learned a lot so hopefully it's going to be a lot better for the rest of the season. We had some new parts but small, unimportant things to prepare so now we have great data. Our engineers will take it to the factory and we will have better analysis in a couple of days."
Even though the time which beat Nico Rosberg to the top of the timesheets was done on the super soft tyre, Maldonado thinks it was useful preparation for Monaco and Canada.
"The feeling [of the tyres] is ok, with the soft it is ok and even in the morning with the medium we are fine. We decided to go to the super soft because at the next race we use that tyre. We were testing things for Monaco and Canada so it's positive to go through the tyres and see what the car can do with different compounds."