Davidson hails Maldonado’s "second-best ever drive"
Pastor Maldonado's late surge to LMP2 victory in last weekend's Spa FIA World Endurance Championship race was the ex-Formula 1 driver's "second-best" ever drive, says DragonSpeed teammate Anthony Davidson.
Maldonado, Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez secured DragonSpeed’s first victory of the 2018/19 superseason in treacherous conditions at Spa, with Maldonado pulling off a pair of overtakes after the third of four safety car periods to grab the class lead.
The Venezuelan built a lead of 10 seconds, which was then wiped out by the final safety car, before the race was finally halted with 11 minutes left on the clock amid heavy snow.
Speaking post-race, Davidson hailed the job performed by both of his teammates, saying he hadn’t seen Maldonado drive so well since his scored his only F1 race victory for Williams at Barcelona in 2012.
“After Barcelona in F1, this has to be his second-best drive of all-time!” Davidson quipped. “It was one of those typical Pastor Maldonado days that just comes from nowhere and surprises everyone.
“He’s always fast, but today he was exceptional. He loves this track, and in the rain particularly he was just on fire.
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“Roberto as well, he was the fastest LMP2 driver in the dry for lap after lap. For a silver driver to do that, against such strong competition, was really impressive.
“He’s come back from a long period of retirement, and now he’s getting back to being the driver he was in Champ Car. He’s got to start believing he can be as fast as me and Pastor.”
Maldonado remarked: “We opted for a very good set-up in different conditions and the car behaved quite well in all of them. My pace was quite good, I was pretty confident with the car and the situation, we did the right [strategy] calls.
“The team did a great job, we had no problems all weekend, it was a pretty clean one. We’ve deserved that for a while. We’ve been pushing and pushing in the last four races, been on the podium [at Shanghai and Sebring]."
Davidson described his own stint as “a bit uneventful”, although the ex-Toyota LMP1 star’s time in the #31 Oreca included an off at Fagnes – the result of contact with the ByKolles LMP1 of Tom Dillmann.
“It was just one of those crazy races where you had to survive,” he said. “I was out the car after the intermediate period, and that was my race.
“It’s a sour taste because I didn’t get great time in the car, but it can’t always be your moment.”
The Briton also admitted the team was fortunate to get away with Gonzalez not completing his minimum drive time of one hour 15 minutes as a result of the red flag, which resulted in the Mexican being given an adjusted drive time.
“We had a bit of luck at the end, with the red flag coming and Roberto still needing a minute of drive time,” he said. “But you have to remember all the bad luck we’ve had. It levels out on days like this.
“We’ll take it when it comes and remember the days we should’ve had a better result.”
P2 Podium, #31 Dragonspeed Oreca 07: Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado, Anthony Davidson win
Photo by: JEP / LAT Images
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