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The Essential… Pastor Maldonado

11 Aug 2015

86 races into his Grand Prix career and Pastor Maldonado already has something that many of his peers don’t: a race winner’s trophy. That is no doubt a prized possession, but what are the other essentials that the combative Lotus racer can’t do without? From electrical gadgets to air conditioning, the Venezuelan ‘night owl’ reveals all…

What are the essential elements of your pre-race routine?

Pastor Maldonado: I am always very relaxed. Maybe having a bit time with my guests - there are always many guests from Venezuela - or friends who are with me. But that is no pressure at all. I also don’t practice any kind of magic formula or voodoo! (laughs) Just normal stuff!

What are the essential ingredients of a good night out?

PM: To have a great race - that helps if you have something to celebrate. And then friends should be there, good music - that will make my night!

What essential items must you have in your driver’s room/motorhome at a race?

PM: Internet and air conditioning. Air conditioning is very important for me as I sweat a lot! Then TV for a bit of entertainment.

What essential items must you always have in your fridge at home?

PM: Green grapes. I am mad about them. So they are always in my fridge!

What are your essential qualities for a girlfriend/wife/partner?

PM: Beauty. The first impact is always very important. Secondly: respect. Thirdly: the same values! But if I have to choose one I’d take respect!

What are essential qualities of a good F1 team mate?

PM: Fast and good working spirit!

Your essential tip for avoiding stress at airports?

PM: Every week we are there so you have to come to terms with it. I ‘prowl’ through the electronic shops. I like electronic gadgets! All the new little electronic goodies - I love them! That’s the best way to beat time.

What are the essential qualities of an F1 driver?

PM: Discipline. Consistency - on the track but also outside with training and the right nutrition, whether you like it or not! (laughs) Respect, and of course natural talent.

What are the essential elements of great racing circuit?

PM: Fast corners. Uphills, downhills, chicanes. I love chicanes!

What app is it essential to have on your phone?

PM: WhatsApp.

What are the essential qualities of a team boss?

PM: He needs to be a real leader. Especially in these times in F1 when you realise that winning is out of your reach. To keep the spirit high and bring constant motivation to the team - this is what I expect from my boss.

What are your essential requirements at a hotel?

PM: I like nice hotels! A comfortable room - and the room cannot be too tiny, as I do exercises in the room. And of course a very good shower!

What is the essential Grand Prix every fan should attend at least once in their lifetime?

PM: It definitely has to be a track where fans can appreciate many parts of the track from their position. Probably Budapest - we’ve just been there and I got it confirmed again: from almost all of the grandstands you can see almost the whole track!

What are your essentials for a good night’s sleep?

PM: I can sleep very easily but hate to go to sleep too early. I am probably a bit of a night owl! (laughs)

What are the essential items you must have with you while travelling?

PM: Computer, two phones - in case of… Passport and money. In Venezuela we say: you don’t need anything more than the ticket, the passport and the money. Everything else you can get anywhere.

What is the essential corner in F1?

PM: My favourite one? There are many: Eau Rouge in Spa, Parabolica in Monza and Turn 3 in Barcelona.

What are the essential parts of your training regime?

PM: Running, cycling and indoor gym. I love indoor gyms! The gym is for me similar to racing. When you improve in the gym you also improve on the track. It is a consistent development of yourself. And after the gym is good food. It’s like the car - it only runs with good petrol! (laughs)

What is the personal quality most essential for success in F1?

PM: You have to get along well with everybody. You spend more time in the paddock than with your real family - so the paddock becomes sort of a family. To be on good terms with everybody and network well - that is really essential. Learn to survive!

What is your essential tip for the aspiring F1 driver?

PM: Being consistent. It is very tough to achieve that. Formula One is very different to most sports: you have to rely on money, on ideas, a machine - and a whole team. So you need to be able to bring all these elements together - perfectly if you can. Then your time will come.