• Jerez Test - Day Two

Maldonado: Mercedes engine 'working so good'

ESPN Staff
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Pastor Maldonado is refusing to get carried away from his first day with the Lotus E23 but thinks it has an abundance of potential, especially from its new Mercedes engine.

Lotus missed the first day of testing this year after arriving late on Sunday but completed a remarkable turnaround overnight to get the car out of the garage on Monday morning. Maldonado completed 41 laps before a drivetrain issue halted his test in the afternoon.

Lotus switched to Mercedes power after a disappointing 2014 campaign and Maldonado says he already notices a difference to the Renault engine.

"Yes, for sure it's different," Maldonado said. "The engine is working so good, it's amazing how the entire package is working with this engine. It's still early to say something about it but for sure we have a programme for tomorrow and the next day so let's do as much as we can - mileage is the priority for these tests to make the engine work with our package. We have a lot of new things in the car and we need to test all of them and try to be more ready for the next test."

The E23's predecessor struggled throughout 2014, with Maldonado scoring just two points. The new car has undergone significant changes and Maldonado thinks it's a positive step.

When asked if he was excited by the new car beneath him, he said: "It's difficult to say, I don't want to say something. For sure the potential from the entire project looks much better to last year … We've not been looking for performance [in first test], we ran with a lot of fuel but didn't touch the set-up. The car seems to be consistent and quit reactive, easy to feel, the sensations are good. It's a good day, a good first day. Let's see in the next couple of days how it develops.

"It's looking different to the one we had last year in terms of reliability and how the entire package is working, so quite a positive day. The mechanics, engineers and all the team did an amazing job to bring the car here today. It's quite positive, I'm very happy for the day. Maybe we were excepting to run a bit more but we had a small issue in the car but which is normal because as you know we have changed a lot, we have a new engine, a big revolution with the car because it's not a continuation of what we had last year."

Maldonado does not expect the drivetrain issue to prevent Lotus from testing over the final two days in Jerez. "It's a problem in the wheel trim, somewhere in the gearbox, so we are trying to discover. It's not a serious problem and something we cannot solve quickly."

Pastor Maldonado's first test came to a premature end on Monday © Sutton Images
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