Maldonado banking on Lotus tyre advantage

© XPB 

Pastor Maldonado believes Lotus can beat Red Bull in the Bahrain Grand Prix by getting more out of its tyres on Sunday.

FP2 was the only really representative practice session ahead of qualifying, with Maldonado setting the seventh fastest time just 0.025s slower than Daniel Ricciardo. With the gap to Red Bull so small, Maldonado is focusing on one of Lotus' strengths of the past with its cars traditionally easy on its tyres.

“The Red Bulls look quite quick, especially on a single lap but we know in the race we have something else than them,” Maldonado said.

“I think the degradation; we’ve always been quite good on the tyre degradation in the past, so that can help us to play with the strategy and even to be maybe faster than the others after a few laps.”

And Maldonado still believes there is more to come from his E23 in qualifying on Saturday.

“It's now our reference for the rest of the weekend, the evening [session]. We just focused in the afternoon on testing different parts to see if they work or not and then we try to manage to put all the best things we think we have from the afternoon and it works. Tomorrow should see maybe a little bit of a step; we are not expecting to be P2 or P3 but we are nearly to our maximum.”

Click here for Friday's gallery from the Bahrain Grand Prix 

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter