MALDONADO DISAPPOINTED, PROST MAKES STRONG IMPORVEMENT THROUGH THE WEEKEND

It has been a difficult weekend for Pastor MALDONADO after the good performance on Thursday free practice. Friday and Saturday the team and Pastor tested different technical solutions but he lost several opportunities to set a time with new tires and finally he could not get in the top ten for qualifying. With these disappointing positions on the grid the team expected that the second race, which is longer and with a mandatory pit stop, could be the opportunity to get some points any way with a good car and strategy. Unfortunately a technical problem appeared at the time to leave the pits to go on the starting grid. The team managed to fix it but Pastor had to start from the pit lane on the back of the 29 others cars racing. After a few laps Pastor had passed several cars and the team stopped him early in the race, which was the best decision taking him potentially in the top 10 at the end of the pit stop window. But another technical problem appeared and Pastor retired.

Nicolas PROST and the team were satisfied by this first experience together this weekend. Coming from FR2000 Nicolas knew that the difference of level was very high but he managed to build his weekend with a lot of professionalism. Step by step, Nicolas started his weekend by adapting his driving style to the car and get the experience of this track he did not know. Then, session after session Nicolas and his engineer made some changes on the car in order to get some performance.

Eric BOULLIER, Managing Director : "Nicolas tested only 4 hours the first day and the gap of 2 seconds with the leaders was a great satisfaction for us. But yesterday we were really impressed by his lap times in race 2, 1.3 seconds of the race leaders who drive this car since April. Nicolas had a very good approach of the weekend, we did the things as a test even if it was a race weekend. His feedback was perfect, he did not try to make the things go faster than it had to go, and in the end his racing spirit made a nice battle in the Sunday races with the other cars. As a first experience it could not be better!"

-dams