Maldonado - Renault a 'big difference'
Williams driver happy after problem-free long runs
By Mike Wise at Jerez. Last Updated: 16/02/12 8:37am
Pastor Maldonado: Has been concentrating on long runs at Jerez
Pastor Maldonado has said the Renault engine that powers Williams' new FW34 is a "big difference" compared to its Cosworth predecessor.
The Venezuelan was speaking after two days of running in the chassis, which received its official launch on Tuesday morning ahead of the first pre-season Formula 1 test at Jerez.
Williams have switched to the use of a Renault powerplant as they seek to halt a slide in performance which plunged them to new depths - ninth place in the Constructors' Championship - last season.
The team have thus far avoided any attempt to set a headline-grabbing time in Spain, with Maldonado 10th quickest on Wednesday having completed 97 laps in all.
"I'm very happy because we did a lot of laps - long runs," he told Sky Sports. "The car was OK all through the day, I had no problems and that is really positive for the team."
Maldonado said the Renault engine not only has a power advantage, it also offers gains in term of packaging and mapping over the Cosworth, who have lacked finance to develop their own unit.
"It's a big difference between the Renault and the engine we had last year - Not only in terms of power but in terms of maps and things to do," he said.
"It is still very early to say but it feels compact in the car."
Maldonado has now completed his running at Jerez and will hand over to new team-mate Bruno Senna on Thursday and Friday.
He added: "I feel good. It's experience; I need to continue like that, to do all the programme. I think we have a lot to improve, so we need to do the programme and analyse the data and keep pushing."