• First Barcelona Test, Day Four

FW35 my best Williams yet - Maldonado

ESPN Staff
February 22, 2013 « E21 stronger in the wet - Grosjean | Gutierrez enjoys 'perfect' conditions »
Pastor Maldonado: "It is a new generation car for the team" © Sutton Images
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Pastor Maldonado reckons his new Williams is the best car he's had during his three pre-seasons with the team.

Williams launched its new FW35 this week in Barcelona and immediately got down to race sims and long runs in its few days. It is the third Williams car Maldonado has been involved with since joining the team in 2011. That year he struggled with the problematic FW33 before enjoying more success with the race-winning FW34, but Maldonado thinks the FW35 is the pick of the bunch.

"[It's] much better and completely different," he said. "I am very happy with the reliability of the car and all the team has been very happy because we've done a lot of mileage in the car without any problems.

"This car is completely new - it's not the same car as last year with a new front wing like some teams have done - it is a new generation car for the team. It's looking good, the feeling is good and all the data we have got is very positive. We are happy."

On Thursday Maldonado completed a race simulation in the FW35 and managed to make the 66-lap distance with one pit stop less than rivals Red Bull and Lotus. He said the team had been pleasantly surprised with the new car's tyre management this week.

"We've been surprised. We planned more pit stops for the racing but we did less. We need to check the condition of the other [teams] as well, but we are always trying to survive with the tyres - all the teams are. These tyres are very sensitive and as soon as you push hard on them they get destroyed immediately. The problem for everyone here on this track is graining, especially in the long, fast corners.

"It is the same for everyone and looking at the other cars they are all having similar problems. Maybe we can still improve on the tyres, but everyone can. We will do our best for the first race and this tyre seems to be very sensitive to changes in track temperatures. We need to predict what is going to happen with the track to be ready with the tyres."