Maldonado: More wins possible
Barcelona race winner confident Williams will do it again
Last Updated: 21/05/12 11:03am
Pastor Maldonado: Expecting swift return to the top step
Formula 1's newest race winner Pastor Maldonado believes there is no reason why Williams can not go on to enjoy more victories this season - the Venezuelan suggesting "everything is possible" for the rejuvenated team.
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The former GP2 Champion confounded all pre-race expectations by fending off Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, and leaving the Lotus pair trailing, at Barcelona to claim nine-time Constructors' Champions Williams' first win for 132 races and his first in Formula 1 after just 24 starts.
Heading into the fifth round of the season in Spain Williams had already scored more than three times the number of points they collected in the whole of 2011, with the new Renault-powered FW34 proving a big step forward over its predecessor.
Maldonado became the fifth different winner so far in 2012 and the 27-year-old, who moved up to ninth in the Drivers' Championship on 29 points, reckons that as the season is proving so tight the team can harbour ambitions of achieving more wins and podiums if they keep improving.
Asked if he thought Williams could even challenge for the championship, he replied: "For sure we are a little bit backwards [on points] compared with the leaders, with Fernando and Vettel, but we need to keep working. We are not the best team at the moment.
"The car looked pretty good today, but I think we need to keep pushing some particulars at Williams, especially in the car, but everything is possible. The gaps are so close at the moment, I'm driving well, I have a good feeling with the team, with the car, so everything is possible.
"For sure we are looking to do our best, looking forward to winning some races, to getting a couple more podiums and I'm really happy because the team hasn't won many races for many years so this is a great moment for us. I hope to continue like that."
Williams' return to the top step of the podium was all the more remarkable considering the Grove-based team slumped to the worst season in their long and illustrious history last time round, finishing only above the three then second-year start-up outfits who are yet to score a point in the sport.
However, the team put in place a wide-reaching overhaul of their technical department and Maldonado reckons those changes have firmly put them back on the path towards sustained success again.
"We made big changes in the factory, we have new staff in some of the departments and completely changed the approach to building the car," he said.
"I need to say that this year's car has great performance, great potential to become even stronger than it is and for sure, this is great for motivation, to motivate the team, the factory, to keep pushing like that. I think this is the way. We are motivated and we need to keep pushing."
Indeed Maldonado reckons the next round in Monaco - a circuit he personally excelled on throughout the junior formula and on his F1 debut there last year was running a fine sixth until a late collision with Lewis Hamilton - will suit Williams' current package very well.
"I think it's going to be a great opportunity for us to be strong again," he said.
"For sure I will be doing my best on the driving. The team is looking after the car so we need to continue like that. Keep pushing with the car, to develop it as soon as possible and consistency will be the important thing in this championship."