THE CALL OF MOTORSPORT WAS TOO STRONG

16.05.2018

F1-hero Pastor Maldonado makes a return to Motorsport with Motul partner Dragonspeed racing, and follows a long line of F1 drivers joining the WEC. We caught up with him at the Paddock in Spa.

 

 

F1-hero Pastor Maldonado makes a return to Motorsport with Motul partner Dragonspeed racing, and follows a long line of F1 drivers joining the WEC. We caught up with him at the Paddock in Spa.

Pastor, You’re back! And in a sports car not a single seater? Are you comfortable in your new car?

 

Yes, it’s alright but it’s a new experience for me. I used to drive a GT car about ten years ago during the GT Open race in Valencia, but that was mainly just to learn the track. But a prototype car is completely new to me.

 

Maybe an obvious question, how much difference is there between the both of them?

 

There’s no comparison. These are two very different machines. It’s heavier than an F1-car to begin with and the tires are very different too. But the Oreca 07 is a good car, especially at high speeds. It develops a lot of downforce which makes it fun to drive, especially here at Spa-Francorchamps. This is a track where an LMP2 car feels right at home.

 

You got into the car and you were fast straight away. Is it your experience here that gives you the edge?

 

Spa is really the best way to start the racing season. Obviously my experience from racing here in Formula One gives me a big advantage, but let’s not forget the efforts of my team and the car. The car is easy to drive and understand. It’s being run by an excellent team who know the car and how I want it to be, and they’ve set it up in such a way I gain quickly a lot of confidence in the car. This allows me to push the limits more easily.

 

 

 

THE CALL OF MOTORSPORT WAS TOO STRONG

You’ve been racing in a world where 22 cars make a full race grid. In the FIA WEC there are a lot more cars out on the track.

 

Yes, it’s really crowded. We drive in LMP2 so we overtake the GT-cars but we also have to keep an eye out for the super-fast LMP1’s so that makes it very tough out there.

 

The FIA World Endurance Championship seems popular amongst F1 drivers like Fernando Alonso, Vitaly Petrov and later Jenson Button. Why do you think so?

 

It’s just a good championship. The level is extremely high, and all the teams here are 100% professional. We also visit a lot of great tracks, not to mention Le Mans.

 

What have you been up to since leaving F1? Have you done any preparation for the race?

 

I’ve been training a lot to be a better family man. There is not much room for family in F1 so I’ve spent the last two years with my family. We’ve had another baby so it’s been great! But the call of motorsport was too strong.

 

 

 

THE CALL OF MOTORSPORT WAS TOO STRONG

Are you looking forward to Le Mans ?

 

Absolutely, It’s hard to predict anything for Le Mans because it’s just such a long race. But it’s more than just another race, it’s a real test for the team and the car. The race demands a whole new level of human ability. But I’ve been following Le Mans for years and I actually can’t wait for that green flag.

 

 

Pictures © Frederik Herregods

 

 

 

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