Monaco specialist Pastor Maldonado hopes to impress
The Grove-based outfit is yet to score a point in the 2013 Formula One season, with both Maldonado and rookie team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggling with Williams’ troublesome FW35 car.
2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Maldonado has enjoyed considerable success at the Principality in the past, finishing on the podium three times in four starts whilst racing in the GP2 Series between 2007 and 2010.
Maldonado has failed to replicate this form in his visits to Monaco as a Williams driver, however, having retired whilst running in a solid points-paying position in 2011, before suffering a weekend-ruining grid penalty for clashing with Sergio Perez, then of Sauber, in the third free practice session of last year’s event and retiring from the race the following afternoon.
Maldonado has refused to allow such disappointments to dampen his enthusiasm for the weekend ahead, however, stating: “I have always been very competitive at Monaco, doing well there in GP2, so I always look forward to this race as I feel very comfortable driving the circuit.
“You can also feel the history of Formula One as you drive through the streets and tackle some of the really famous corners.
“Monaco is a very difficult challenge, both mentally and physically, as you have to try and find the limits of the car with no margin for error if you push too hard.”
The emphasis placed on grid position has lessened in 2013 due to the fragility of the tyre compounds provided by Italian manufacturer Pirelli with qualifying sessions becoming exercises in tyre conservation, although Maldonado believes qualifying will hold the key to the weekend on the tight streets of Monaco.
The 28-year-old continued: “Qualifying will be very important at this race and is probably 70% of the weekend because overtaking is so difficult and risky.
“Tyre strategy and tyre management is important as you always use the softer compound of tyres in Monaco and they are very sensitive this year.”
Maldonado also touched upon the delicate subject of Williams’ inability to maintain the promising performances of 2012, expressing his desire to fight for points in the near future.
He added: “We are working hard at the factory to see where we can make improvements and hopefully we can contribute improving the set-up of the FW35 and have a better result this weekend.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic