The 2014 season has been a frustrating one for Pastor Maldonado, but the Lotus driver insists they are not giving up despite "not having all the tools to defend".
The Venezuelan could hardly have imagined that he would be battling so low down the grid when he moved from Williams to Lotus, but that is exactly what has happened.
He has retired in four of the eight races to date and is yet to score any points with his best performance his 12th place at Austria over the weekend.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Crash.net, Maldonado admits it has been difficult, but says everyone at Enstone are pulling in the same direction.
"For sure we are not having the best year ever for the team, but this is part of life and part of the experience. We need to be strong in the tough moments. It's then that you see the real teams staying together and keeping fighting until the end," he said.
"We are doing that, we are fighting. There is big motivation behind us, a big push from every single point - driving, factory, aerodynamic, engine as well - so we are trying to put everything together because now you can see apart from Mercedes the teams behind until us are quite close. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but the delta is not that big. It's important to keep going like this, not lose distance against the others because the reliability issues we are having will finish at some point.
"This is technology, we need to understand that especially when they are new you can have these kinds of problems. We just need to stay calm and the results will come because we have a good car and a good team. Maybe not the best car at the moment, we're having a lot of problems at the same time so we are not the fastest and we have a lot of problems. You can imagine how it feels.
"We feel that we do not have all the tools to defend when we are fighting on the track. But behind this we are working very hard - believe me - in the factory, simulator, engineers, all the new projects for the short, medium and long-term, and hopefully from now until the end of the season we can be slightly more competitive. Slightly more competitive means being consistently in the top ten and scoring some points."
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