Pastor Maldonado was cautiously optimistic after scoring Williams' first point of 2013
Venezuelan finishes tenth in the Hungarian Grand Prix
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 29/07/13 3:20pm
Pastor Maldonado: First point of the season in Hungary
Pastor Maldonado struck a tone of cautious optimism after scoring Williams' first point of the season in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Venezuelan finished tenth at the Hungaroring to finally lift the Grove team, who have been struggling all year to find performance in their FW35 car, out of the basement.
"There's no point to celebrate. It's quite okay to be in the points for the team morale and everything, but it's not everything. We need to keep pushing; we really need to improve the car closer to the top teams," Maldonado said after the race.
"The potential is there. All through the weekend we've been more competitive than before."
Although Maldonado and team-mate Valtteri Bottas qualified in more or less the same spots they have all year, 15th and 16th, they had featured more prominently during practice.
Maldonado was also sixth fastest in Q1 and reckoned he would have made Q3 but for a mistake in the second session.
"If you have a look at free practice and qualy, we've been very competitive; we just did a small mistake yesterday in qualy two and that didn't put us in the place to fight for qualy three," the Venezuelan said.
F1 on Sky Sports in 2013
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every grand prix live in 2013.
Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.
Find out more at sky.com
"But in qualy one we did quite well - we were competitive and the potential was there."
Maldonado said his car handled consistently during the race, something that certainly wasn't the case earlier in the season.
Furthermore, he was encouraged by his car's performance in the Hungaroring's slow corners - seen as another area of weakness - and speculated whether Pirelli's change in tyre construction has played a part.
"We know we are not the quickest but we are consistent. This is our strongest point," Maldonado said.
"We are not going very fast but we're consistent: good management from the tyres; good pit stops; good strategy.
"In the last two or three races, we've been able to fight for the top ten but for so many reasons we were not there. The last race at Nurburgring was potentially P8 or P9 for us but we missed a pit stop, the last one.
"I think it's a small step forward but it's not enough. We need to keep improving, especially in qualifying.
"I think with these new tyres it's much better for us. I'm encouraged to see how it will be at Spa; normally in the high-speed corners our car is quite good.
"In qualy, I'm more comfortable in the car. It's performing more with these tyres; you can explore more the tyre potential. Before, I was completely dominated by the tyres and the car."