Pastor Maldonado still smiling despite latest qualifying nightmare at Spanish GP

Venezuelan pleased with E22 improvement despite his shunt

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 10/05/14 5:12pm

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Pastor Maldonado says he is "happy" to keep on fighting his Lotus E22 despite suffering another knock-out blow at the start of qualifying for the Spanish GP.

The error-prone South American, who has yet to score a point for Lotus since transferring out of Williams, has failed to register a timed lap in three of this season's five Q1 sessions and crashed out in the opening minutes of qualifying at Barcelona on Saturday.

Romain Grosjean, who will line up an outstanding fifth for Sunday's Spanish GP, has out-qualified his struggling team-mate on every occasion, leaving Maldonado as the only driver on the grid yet to outperform his respective sister car on a Saturday in 2014.

Nevertheless, Maldonado refuses to be downcast about his form.

"The cars are a bit more difficult to control but it's not bad. I'm quite happy, to be honest, because I do like to fight the car," he told Sky Sports News.

"I'm quite happy, a bit disappointed about what happened today, but there is a clear improvement on the car."

Maldonado won the Spanish GP two years ago while driving for Williams. He described his departure from the Grove outfit at the end of 2013 as "the best decision ever" but has yet to score a point for his new employers.

Last week, Williams announced they had returned to operating profit in 2013, following a £5m loss in 2012, in part due to a one-off payment from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA to end their sponsorship deal with the team when Maldonado left.

Maldonado's crumpled E22 on the recovery truck

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