• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

I could have won - Maldonado

Chris Medland November 4, 2012 « Webber deserved a penalty - Massa | 'Nothing really worked out' - Webber »
Pastor Maldonado was running second after Lewis Hamilton's retirement © Sutton Images

Pastor Maldonado believes he had the pace to challenge for victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but had his race hampered by a KERS failure.

Having started the race in third place, Maldonado was following Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen early in the race while keeping Fernando Alonso at bay. However, a KERS failure after the first safety car period meant Maldonado was unable to maintain position - eventually finishing fifth - and he thinks an opportunity to win the race was missed.

"The pace was there," Maldonado told ESPN exclusively. "We dropped the KERS after that we were losing four tenths a lap which compromised our pace. After that I was trying to open a gap with the guys behind but it was impossible to do and it went from being an attacking race to being a defensive race.

"For sure [victory was possible]; the pace was so good, especially at the beginning. We opened quite a good gap over Fernando and Webber, and I was trying to close the gap to Lewis and Kimi, but the pace was fantastic today. The car was so good, the feeling was so good; even at the end of the race I was very quick even without KERS which is fantastic for us as we missed a lot of races without performing. We're back again being strong in the races, strong in qualifying, so we're really looking forward to these next two races and I really hope to be like here, even better."

Maldonado also said that Webber left him no space in the clash that saw the Red Bull spin at turn 11 early in the race.

"I think I was taking my line, I defended quite well, I was on the inside and he closed my line completely. I'm disappointed for him, but I was completely on the inside on a clean line and he just came over my car. I think it was a racing incident; disappointing for him because it was his fault because I was completely on the inside, but this is racing ... It's a very difficult corner to overtake on the external side."

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season