Good day for Williams
But Maldonado reckoned he could have gone even faster
By Mike Wise in Budapest. Last Updated: 28/07/12 6:46pm
Williams enjoyed a strong qualifying result at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday, although Pastor Maldonado reckoned it might have been even better.
The Venezuelan lines up eighth on the grid at the Hungaroring, one place ahead of team-mate Bruno Senna as Williams qualified two cars in the top 10 for the first time since 2010.
A number of runners - Maldonado included - set slower times in the final session than they had in Q2 as the track temperature rose.
However, the Spanish Grand Prix winner said traffic was more to blame for his failure to go quicker.
"I was expecting a little bit more. We are not at the level to be in the top three, this target was a little bit forward for us today, but I think P4, P5 was real," Maldonado said.
"I got traffic at the first corner on my lap in qualy three, I got Jenson (Button), and I missed a couple of tenths this lap.
"I didn't get a clean lap with the traffic, it wasn't that ready with the tyres as well. We don't improve in qualy three and because of that I was expecting a little bit more."
THE ONLY PLACE TO BE
Sky Sports F1 HD is THE only place to watch the 2012 Formula 1 season in full live. Our extensive coverage continues with the Hungarian Grand Prix exclusively live on 27 -29th July.
FRIDAY 27th - P1 from 8.45am. P2 from 12.45pm
SATURDAY 28th - P3 from 9.45am. Q from 12pm
SUNDAY 29th - Race from 11.30am
To find out all the different ways to watch the action, click here
Maldonado is nevertheless determined to make progress in the race, even though overtaking is difficult at the twisting 4.381km track.
A question mark also surrounds strategy given that teams were unable to complete long runs to try and understand tyre degradation better when rain hit Friday practice.
"It's going to be very difficult to overtake here, even with the DRS, because the straight is quite short but it's not impossible," Maldonado said.
"I will be ready in any case. We don't know because actually we didn't try our pace with high fuel. Everything to discover tomorrow but it's the same for everybody.
"We are quite competitive and, for sure, we are looking forward to trying to gain some places."
Senna, meanwhile, said his first top 10 qualifying performance of the season came after a new brake duct Williams introduced gave him a "good feeling" at the front end of his FW34.
"I'm happy to be where I am in qualifying because it's a good progress from where we've been. The last two races have been so frustrating because I knew we had decent pace to be further up the grid," he said.
Although the Brazilian starts the race from the 'clean' side of the grid, he said he would not be overly ambitious at the lights.
"We should be in a good position for a good race start. Turn 1 here is always full of action and Turn 2 as well, so we just have to be aggressive enough," Senna added.
"We have a good car, so there's no point in losing a front wing in the first corner, but there's no point in losing positions either because then you're stuck behind other cars.
"We've been stuck behind slower cars for too many races now; we need to be in front of them."