• Second Barcelona Test, Day Four

Maldonado wants to be 'very close to the top teams'

ESPN Staff
March 3, 2013 « Vettel wants more consistency from tyres | Ferrari updates having desired effect »
Pastor Maldonado: "We have great potential; we just have to work very hard as a team" © Sutton Images

Pastor Maldonado says Williams has the potential to be "very close to the top teams" after the conclusion of pre-season testing.

Having split running with Valtteri Bottas over the final day, Maldonado ended Sunday with the seventh fastest time. While Williams only launched its car at the start of the second test it has looked impressive during the eight days at Barcelona and Maldonado believes it has moved to the front of the midfield.

"I hope so," Maldonado said when asked if Williams was now ahead of Sauber and Force India. "I think we have the potential to be ahead and for sure I would like to be even more competitive and even very close to the top teams. We have great potential; we just have to work very hard as a team and let's see."

Maldonado also said he was pleased with the way Williams' testing programme had played out despite having had less time with its new car than the rest of the field.

"We are quite happy; no problems during the winter tests so it's a great starting point to have. We are looking forward to Melbourne now, we still have a week to work very hard to analyse the data and we feel confident. We'll see.

"We are trying to learn from the car. Remember that we have four days less than the other teams so there's still something to learn from the car and we're fully focused on it. Our guys our working very hard so I hope to be there from the first race."