Maldonado's team must "reset" after fraught WEC debut
Ex-Formula 1 racer Pastor Maldonado says his DragonSpeed LMP2 team must "reset" after a troubled FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Spa.
Maldonado had topped all three practice sessions in DragonSpeed's #31 Oreca ahead of qualifying, and charged from fifth on the LMP2 grid to second in the opening stint of the race.
However, the Venezuelan along with teammates Roberto Gonzalez and Nathanael Berthon were later beset by issues, including a brief stoppage on track and a drive-through penalty for pitlane speeding.
"We broke the ice and we start the season," Maldonado told Motorsport.com after the #31 car ended up sixth in class at the finish, a lap down on the winning G-Drive Oreca.
"I think the potential is good, as we saw at the beginning of the race, but so many things were happening and we got penalised because of that.
"We need to reset a little bit, taking this race like a real learning book, to review all the details and start from that point. The pace is there, so we just need to put things together and then we can fight for sure.
"It was very important to finish the race and know how to race in all situations – old tyres, new tyres, safety car… it’s good experience. The next one will be better.
"For sure we were expecting to be fighting for victory. But we didn’t put things together. We need to work harder, and learn from this one."
Spa was Maldonado's first world championship-level race since the end of his F1 career, and his next race with the DragonSpeed team will be the Le Mans 24 Hours next month.
"I'm learning, this is all new for me," he added. "I'm trying to do my best, give my experience to the team and grow up something very good. I feel ready to discover the experience [of Le Mans].
"The team is quite young but very professional, but they are fighters. They want to do their best. They are confident. We need to enjoy what we are doing and try to push as much as possible."
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